The aim of this study was to measure the use of mammography and the factors associated with testing among Spanish women, after the introduction of screening programmes in Spain. We conducted a cross-sectional population survey of a representative sample of women aged 40–70 (2409 women). Data collection took place in October 2000, using a questionnaire addressing the dependent variable (mammography use) and the independent variables (socio-demographic and socio-health factors, and women's knowledge and attitudes). Mammography use was defined as having received at least one screening test in the previous 2 years. Data analysis consisted of univariate and multivariate analyses. 48.1% (95% confidence interval (CI) 46.0–50.2) of women had received screening mammography. The main factors associated with testing were: mammography invitation from the screening programme (odds ratio (OR) 4.81; 95% CI 3.85–6.01); gynaecologist visit (OR 4.32; 95% CI 3.45–5.41); and intention to have a mammogram (OR 2.94; 95% CI 2.00–4.32). Other test-related factors were: not rejecting test for discomfort or fear of cancer; mammography perceived as necessary; age 56–65; upper/upper-middle socio-economic status. In conclusion, after the introduction of screening programmes, almost half of Spanish women aged 40–70 had received mammography. Invitation to screening, gynaecologist visit and women's attitudes are the main reasons for undergoing testing. Women over 65 years of age and/or those in a lower socio-economic level warrant special attention.