How to Tell When Condoms Were Bought

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If the condoms are dry, stiff, brittle, or sticky and have holes in the wrapper, it’s time to toss them. Also, extreme heat can damage latex and make it weak or sticky.

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Expiration Date

Condoms don’t last forever, and it’s important to check their expiration dates before using them. A condom that’s expired may not be effective and could result in pregnancy or STIs, depending on how it’s used.

Expiration is affected by how and where the condoms are stored, as well as what kind they are. Natural condoms made of lambskin, for example, tend to expire more quickly than latex or polyurethane ones. Additives like spermicide can also shorten a condom’s lifespan. It’s best to store condoms in a drawer or cupboard, where they will be safe from moisture and extreme temperatures.

In general, latex and polyurethane condoms are good for up to five years past their date of manufacture. Lambskin condoms, which are a popular option for those with a latex allergy, have shorter lifespans (and won’t protect against STIs), while polyisoprene condoms can last up to three years past their date of manufacture, Dr Banfield says.

You should be able to tell if a condom has expired by checking its box and foil wrapper. If the wrapper is torn or faded, or has a foul odor, it’s probably time for it to go. In addition, if a condom feels dry or has any holes, it should be discarded, Dr Banfield says. You can test the lubrication of a condom by pressing on it lightly, and if there’s an air cushion, it’s still good to use.

Read:  How to Poke Holes in Condoms to Get Pregnant

Date of Manufacture

Condoms have a wide range of uses throughout history. Since the early days of artificial contraception, a variety of different shapes, sizes and textures have been used to protect against pregnancy and STIs. The history of the condom is a fascinating one, and its evolution is nothing short of astounding.

Despite their incredible flexibility, condoms do expire and must be checked regularly to ensure safety. A condom that’s been stored properly and hasn’t reached its expiration date will offer 98 percent protection against pregnancy and STIs.

The date of manufacture on a condom is usually printed on the individual condom wrapper, as well as on the box’s packaging. It’s typically a five-year window for latex condoms and three years for spermicide and lambskin varieties. It’s possible to tell the date of purchase by subtracting the date of manufacture from the condom’s expiration date, but it’s important to remember that even a new condom that hasn’t expired can lose its lubrication if it isn’t stored properly.

Store a box of condoms in a cool, dry place where they’ll be protected from sunlight and heat. Avoid storing them in your pocket or purse, as the constant movement can cause them to become weak or sticky. Keep a condom case in your bedroom so you can take it with you on outings, but make sure to keep it away from other items that could damage or contaminate the protective coating.

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Lot Number

A lot number is an identification number used to trace a specific batch of finished products. It tells the product maker where and when it was produced. It also gives the maker a way to track raw materials and labor records for that particular production run. Lot numbers are common in industries like pharmaceuticals and food, as well as being a requirement for some countries’ regulations.

A condom’s lot number typically consists of a letter followed by a series of numerals. The first two digits usually indicate the month and day of the year when the product was created. The next two digits typically represent the year in which the product’s components will expire, with the earliest components expiring first.

If a condom has expired, it will most likely look dry or brittle. It may also smell sour or feel stiff and gooey, and it will not provide sufficient protection against STIs or pregnancy. If you suspect that your condoms are past their prime, remove them from the package and carefully open the wrapper. If they look stale or broken, throw them away.

Always keep your condoms in a safe place, where they won’t get creased (like in your wallet or pocket) or dried out by heat or sunlight. Also, don’t store your condoms with oil-based lubricants, as this will break down latex.

Read:  Condom Pregnancy Rates

Shelf Life

Getting pregnant or contracting an STD from a condom that’s expired is not something anyone wants. Knowing how long they last and checking them for defects before use can help prevent these situations.

Expired condoms are dry and can become brittle, increasing the risk of tearing during sex, says Nerys Benfield, MD, MPH, gynecologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center. In addition, they can break down faster if stored in hot places or when exposed to friction, such as keeping them in your wallet or car.

When you purchase condoms, check for the expiration date, which is usually printed on both the box and individual wrapper. Most condoms also have an additional number that’s specific to the batch of the product, called a lot number. It’s important to note that it takes several months from when a condom is manufactured for it to make it to store shelves.

Using expired condoms can also increase the chances of infection, since bacteria can grow in them. If a condom has a foul odor, feels stiff or doesn’t unroll easily, it should be discarded and replaced with a new one. For safety, it’s recommended that sexually active people follow the “first in, first out” rule and always keep a supply of fresh condoms on hand. The best place to store them is in a cool, dark area and away from direct sunlight.

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