How Old Are Condoms That Expire in 2024?

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The expiration date of a condom is printed on its packaging. The exact date varies by manufacturer and product type.

Condoms that are unopened and stored in the correct place can last up to five years. However, they do degrade over time. The type of material and additives like spermicide influence how long they last.

Latex Condoms

The material that most condoms are made of—latex, polyurethane, or polyisoprene—degrade over time. This degradation may result in the condom outright breaking during use, or developing microscopic holes that can let sperm through. Condoms that are past their expiration date may also be less effective at preventing unintended pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

Regardless of what type of condom you use, it’s important to check the package for a seal or stamp with an expired date. The date is usually located on the bottom of the package, or on the back of the retail box. You can also check the packaging for signs that it’s been opened, such as a torn wrapper or leaking lube.

When used correctly, latex condoms are 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy. They also provide a barrier between the penis and vaginal secretions, blocking the transmission of HIV infection. However, they are not 100% effective and do not protect against other STDs, such as genital herpes, chlamydia, or syphilis. If you have a latex allergy, we recommend using a different type of condom, such as a non-latex, synthetic condom or a polyurethane condom with added spermicide. Lambskin condoms degrade more quickly and are only good for one year.

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Polyurethane Condoms

Condoms expire when the material and lubrication begin to degrade over time. When the material becomes drier and less flexible, it’s not as effective at preventing pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

The rate at which your condoms age is determined by the type of rubber they are made from and whether any additives have been added to them during manufacturing. Generally, non-latex condoms, such as those made of polyurethane and polyisoprene, will last up to three years with proper storage. Additives like spermicide can shorten the lifespan of these condoms.

While they may not have the same sensitivity as latex condoms, these plastic ones do offer some great advantages for those with latex allergies and a preference for a smoother feel. They also have a longer shelf life, up to five years, and are more resilient against breakage. They are also able to handle oil-based lubricants without failing.

Despite their long lifespan, they are a little more prone to leakage than latex condoms. It’s best to use these in conjunction with a good quality water-based lubricant.

Male condoms that aren’t expired are 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and STIs if used correctly every time you have penetrative sex. However, even the most reliable condoms can fail due to poor insertion or improper handling. That’s why it’s always a good idea to carry a backup method of birth control with you.

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Natural Condoms

Unlike milk cartons, which will stay fresh for a long time, condoms do expire. Using an expired condom can lead to unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), so it’s important to always have a fresh supply on hand.

How quickly a condom degrades depends on the material and lubrication, as well as how it’s stored. Latex and polyurethane condoms have the longest shelf lives, while ones made of natural materials like lambskin break down faster. Condoms that are packaged with spermicide also degrade more quickly, since spermicide has chemical additives that shorten the condom’s lifespan.

If a condom isn’t used right away, it can be safely stored for up to five years after the date printed on the package. But if it’s stored in hot, humid conditions—like in a wallet kept in your back pocket—it can degrade much faster.

The best way to know whether a condom is still good is to inspect it for signs of wear and tear. Look for any rips or tears in the packaging, as well as holes or a strange odor. If you see any of these, it’s time to toss the condom and grab a new one. Check out Lovability’s Buttercup Condoms, which are FDA-approved and electronically triple-tested for safety and contain no dyes, fragrances, chemicals, GMOs, or detectable nitrosamines.

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Polyisoprene Condoms

As the name implies, these are condoms that are made from medical-grade polyisoprene, a material that can withstand high temperatures and oil. They are latex-free and can be used with both water-based and oil-based lubricants. Like all Durex products, they are backed by an unconditional satisfaction guarantee.

They are also more sensitive than latex condoms and able to transmit more of your partner’s natural body heat for a closer, more natural feel. They can also be worn in pairs for extra safety and heightened pleasure. The only drawback to polyisoprene is that it takes longer to warm up, making it difficult to use during cold weather.

Like the other types of condoms, they need to be stored properly to maintain their longevity. It’s recommended that you keep them in a cool, dark place away from extreme temperatures, sunlight, and sharp objects. They may also dry out and become less lubricated over time. An expired condom has a higher chance of tearing or puncturing during sex, exposing you to unintended pregnancy and STIs.

To determine when a condom has expired, subtract five years (or three for non-latex or lambskin condoms coated with spermicide) from the date it was manufactured. If it’s close to expiration, check it before each use for stains, signs of damage, or discoloration. If in doubt, don’t risk it.

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