Last updated: Jun 07, 2010
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Roughly one in three women think mammograms are uncomfortable. So when a study recently found that numbing breasts with lidocaine gel greatly reduced pain from the big squeeze, some experts hoped that would persuade fewer women to skip the exam.

But theres a catch: Shortly after the study was published, the Food and Drug Administration warned against the move because of potential risks. When numbing products are used without professional supervision, high levels of anesthetic can lead to irregular heartbeats, seizures, or worse.

Talk to your doc about lidocaine, and consider using an oral pain reliever instead.