How long condoms last relies on what they’re do of and how you keep them. Utilizing an expired condom isn’t a good idea, due to the fact that expired prophylactics can construct tiny holes, come to be brittle, or tear open throughout sex. Suspect they’re save on computer correctly, latex and also polyurethane prophylactics have the longest shelf life—up to five years. Yet be certain to usage the right kind of lube, as some chemicals deserve to make certain types of condoms much more likely come break.

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created by Alison Dalton

All prophylactics expire at some point. How long they last depends on what they’re make of and how you keep them. Unlike other contraceptives, most condoms can safeguard you native both unintentional pregnancy and sexually sent infections (STIs). The exemption is natural condoms made from lambskin or sheepskin, which nothing protect versus STIs.


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Different kinds of condoms

There room three main varieties of condom materials: latex, synthetic, and also natural (Mahdy, 2020).

Latex condoms are make from organic rubber. About 80% of prophylactics on the sector are latex.Lambskin/sheepskin (natural) prophylactics are made from lamb or sheep intestinal membrane. Lock account for the staying 5% that the condom market. Be afflicted with in mental that, unlike the other species of condoms, lambskin and also sheepskin condoms don’t protect against STIs, favor HIV/AIDS.

You can likewise find prophylactics coated with a spermicide, typically nonoxynol-9. Although at first, this would certainly seem favor a good idea because that providing twin protection versus unintended pregnancy, it’s really not. Spermicide-coated condoms don’t work any much better than uncoated condoms to avoid pregnancy. They can even reason irritation and also urinary tract infections in women. And also they reduce the expectancy (the time before they expire) of prophylactics by increase to 2 years (Mahdy, 2020).

When execute different species of prophylactics expire?

The exterior of every box of condoms and also every individual condom wrapper has actually a stamp with an expiration date. Be sure to inspect the expiration date before you to buy condoms.

Condoms have an extremely different lifespans, depending on the product they’re make of and whether they have appropriate storage (Mahdy, 2020; nationwide Coalition, 2021; FDA, 2020):

Latex condoms last because that up to 5 years.Polyurethane condoms last for up to 5 years.Polyisoprene prophylactics last for up to 3 years.Lambskin/sheepskin condoms critical for approximately one year.

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These days assume the prophylactics aren’t coated with spermicide—which, as mentioned, reduces your lifespan by around two years—and the they’re save correctly.

Where need to you store condoms?

Heat, humidity, and direct sunlight can degrade both the condom wrapper and also the condom, resulting in them to break down. For this reason it’s best to store prophylactics in a cool, dark, dried place, like a closet or drawer. Avoid keeping them in areas that can obtain warm or humid, favor your bathroom, wallet, or car. It’s necessary to protect against exposing them to direct sunlight, like maintaining them near a window.

Should you use different types of lube with various condoms?

It’s vital to usage the appropriate kind of lube with various condom materials.

Latex—Use only water-based or silicone-based lubes (like K-Y Jelly, saliva, or glycerin). Don’t use oil-based lubes with latex condoms. Oil-based lubes include baby oil, coconut oil, petroleum jelly (like Vaseline), most hand and also body lotions, massage oil, mineral oil, edible oils, and whipped cream. Oil-based lubes can cause latex to tear.Polyurethane—Use water-based or oil-based lubes. Don’t use silicone-based lubes—some types of silicone can failure polyurethane.Polyisoprene—Use water-based or silicone-based lubes. Don’t use oil-based lubes. Polyisoprene is a artificial rubber, and also like latex, it have the right to tear when supplied with oils. (However, it’s for sure to use polyisoprene prophylactics if you have a latex allergy).Lambskin/sheepskin—Use with any type of lube.

All of that can be a bit much to think around when you have actually something an ext urgent on her mind than comparison shopping—so it’s good to know that you can use water-based lubes v any type of condom.


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How can you tell if a condom is tho good?

In addition to checking the expiration date, friend should always (National Coalition, 2021):

Check the wrapper because that holes, rips, or tears.Squeeze the wrapper. An waiting bubble need to form, which speak you the wrapper is unopened.Examine the unwrapped condom. Is that dry, brittle, stiff, or gooey? If so, throw it away.

What are the possibilities of obtaining pregnant when using a condom?

The chances of acquiring pregnant once using prophylactics have a lot of to carry out with “perfect use” versus “typical use.” Perfect usage is using prophylactics during and throughout every time you have penetrative sex. Typical use way failing come use condoms during every sex-related encounter or not utilizing them correctly—the kinds of mistakes that can occur in genuine life.

Male condom success prices (Marfatia, 2015):

Perfect use: 97% success price (three ladies out that 100 will acquire pregnant)Typical use: 86% success price (14 ladies out of 100 will acquire pregnant)

Female (internal) condom success prices (Planned Parenthood):

Perfect use: 95% success rate (five women out that 100 will gain pregnant)Typical use: 79% success rate (21 women out that 100 will get pregnant)

Condom slippage or wrong is rare, however it’s to be reported in 2% of situations (Mahdy, 2020).

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Should you use an expired condom if nothing else is available?

Suppose you have actually no other form of security available. In that case, a condom that’s happen its expiration date is far better than nothing. However remember that utilizing an expired condom is placing you at hazard for pregnancy and also STIs. To avoid those risks, you’re better off engaging in other species of sex the don’t need a condom, like shared masturbation.