The coronavirus and its accompanying quarantine measures have upset much about everyday life, and many women are questioning whether they should be delaying preventative health measures – including their annual Pap screening – as a social distancing safety precaution, according to Refinery 29.
Women who haven’t experienced abnormal Pap test results in the past are likely safe to delay their Pap testing appointment until quarantine restrictions are less stringent, according to OB-GYNs Lisa Shah and Mary Jane Minkin.
Women who have a history of abnormal Paps are likely still safe to delay up to a month, but should still stay on top of rescheduling the test. “I wouldn’t say, oh let’s make it three years… But being off a month or two for a pap is highly unlikely to cause a problem,” Dr. Minkin notes.
As always, the best way to address any questions about the Pap test is to speak to a doctor directly. “Most hospitals and clinics are taking additional cleaning precautions right now, so even if you had to go into a lab, you’d be safe,” Dr. Minkin notes in the article. “though you should still take precautions like wearing a mask.”
Read more about how to safely manage your Pap test and other women’s health procedures during the coronavirus quarantine here.