Do Condoms Expire: How Long They Really Last?

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Every factual information presented in the text has been reviewed and verified by our editorial team composed of highly educated medical professionals at the time it was published.

We know that in some situations, checking the date on a condom is not the sexiest thing you can do, but you still should because on condoms, the expiration date exists for a reason.

Do condoms work  | How store condom  | Do condoms expire  |  Latex  |  Birth control


Condoms expire, and using expired ones can significantly reduce their effectiveness.

Expired condoms are often drier and weaker, so they are more likely to break during intercourse. There is a considerable risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unwanted pregnancies.

Male condoms that have not expired are 98 % effective if you use them correctly every time you have sex.

But no one is perfect, so there are male condoms that have not expired with about 85 % effectiveness. Take care when you choose the best option for you.

Those numbers will drop drastically if the condom date for use expires.

The average shelf life of a condom is three to five years depending on the manufacturer and how it is stored.

Read below if you want to learn more about why they expire, determine if a condom is safe to use, store it properly, and more.



What Should We Pay Attention To When Buying Condoms?

Condoms expire like many other medical products. However, certain factors affect why and how quickly they expire.


When it comes to condoms, the brand is not particularly important.


It is good to pay attention to where condoms are produced (it may be better to buy condoms made in Europe than those made in Asia, just because there is a higher risk of not being well stored before and during transport).


There are a few things that are important when buying condoms:

  • are condoms made of latex (almost all of them are made of latex)
  • whether they are adequately tested
  • when they expire


All three pieces of information must be printed on the box. If they are not, look for another type



Store In A Suitable Place

The condom should be stored in an undamaged wrapper in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Pay attention and check the expiration date because the latex from which the condoms are made changes properties after the expiration date, and they become unusable.

Unsuitable places are warm and areas with little space where pressure or friction occurs (in a trouser pocket, car compartment, wallet…), which can damage the latex.

When you open and use it, you must be careful not to damage the product and latex.



Which Condoms Break More Often?

As a rule, quality condoms break exceptionally rarely.

Most often because they are not correctly placed on the male genitalia (best read the instructions before first use) or because they are damaged before or during insertion (damage caused by nails or teeth when opening and the like).

Very rarely, the width (not the length) of the male sexual organ (penis) can be a problem, increasing the risk of cracking.

This is easily bypassed by buying the so-called XXL condoms that are usually sold in speciality stores (sex shops)


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How Do You Know If Condom Has Expired?

The expiration date of a condom can usually be found on both the box and the individual foil wrapper.


It usually printed something like 2024-11. In this example the condom should protect against STD’s or pregnancy by November 2024.


Most packaging also includes a date when it was produced. However, you can use this data to determine the expiration date of a condom.


It is good to inspect condoms on your first purchase and inspect them periodically if they are stored for more than six months.


You should not use the condom if:

  • the case is torn, altered, or leaking lubricant
  • has tiny holes which you can see
  • it is dry, stiff or sticky
  • it has a bad smell



Condoms And Oral Sex

Oral sex carries risks that you should think about before deciding on this type of pleasure, so it would be wise and intelligent to think about protection, especially if you do not know your partner very well.

Although oral sex is trendy among all generations, especially after the sexual revolution that shook the world in the 60s.

Experts warn of the dangerous infections that oral sex leaves behind.


The National Health Service of Great Britain (NHS) answers the question how risky is oral sex for health.


They note that there are some sexually transmitted diseases in which the chances of transmission are higher if oral sex is practised. Infections that usually spread this way are gonorrhoea, genital herpes and syphilis.


There is a lower risk of chlamydia, hepatitis A, B and C and HIV infection. It is also possible to transmit pubic lice.


The symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases depend on the type of infection and can be treated if detected at an early stage.


If you suspect that you may have an infection, it is important to see a doctor without delay.


If left untreated, it can become very uncomfortable and seriously affect health and fertility.


How to protect yourself?


To prevent sexual diseases, they recommend the use of condoms and a dental dam that is placed on the female genitalia or anus.


The dental barrier is a very thin, soft plastic (latex or polyurethane) about 15 cm x 15 cm that protects against the transmission of sexually diseases from one partner to another.



Proper Condom Use

For people who are sexually active, the correct and regular use of condoms significantly reduces the possibility of infecting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. And it also protects against unplanned pregnancy.


The proper way to put on a condom:

  • The air should be gently expelled from the reservoir on top of the condom before being placed on the penis
  • With the other hand, carefully unwrap the condom along the entire length of the penis
  • Place the condom properly on the penis
  • Immediately after ejaculation, remove the condom taking care not to spill ejaculate




No condom provides absolute protection, and it is not 100% safe.


This means that it does not provide perfect protection (100%), but it does provide good and effective protection.


Shelf life affects the quality of condoms!


A condom, when used properly, protects against unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections at the same time. This means it should be put on before sexual intercourse begins, not in progress.



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