How Do You Prepare for a Breast MRI?

When making the appointment, the office will most likely ask you the dates of your last menstrual cycle, from the first day of bleeding to the last. They ask this because they want to schedule the test 6-16 days after you started your last cycle. This is the best time to schedule a breast MRI, because abnormalities are better detected when hormones are not interfering with the breast tissue.

If you are currently taking a hormone replacement therapy, you must stop the treatment about 4-6 weeks prior to the test.

Breastfeeding does not preclude you from having a breast MRI, because the baby will absorb less than 1% of the contrast. This is no more than what the baby would receive if they were having the test done themselves. Of course, it’s a personal decision, but you are not required to stop breastfeeding prior to the test.

One other thing you can do prior to the scan, is to gather and bring with you any previous reports or tests on the breast, including mammograms, biopsies, and ultrasounds. The doctor who will be reading your MRI will be able to use them to interpret and evaluate the current condition of the breast tissue.

You do not have to fast before the test, nor stop any other medications, other than HRT. Other than that, and bringing previous reports, there are no special preparation steps to abide by before having a breast MRI.