Contraceptives: Reasons why condoms have expiry date. Do you check the expiry date on condoms before using them?
While businesses might tempt us and tell us that we need something, the truth of the matter might be a bit different. And you might have realised too late that you’ve wasted your money on something you didn’t need to buy.
Here’s why condoms have expiry dates and whether you need to follow them. After all, there are some things that you don’t want to mess around with, and safe sex is one of them. Do you really want to risk STDs and pregnancy because you’re trying to get out of buying a new packet of condoms? We don’t think so.
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Nothing lasts forever. Things break down or become less effective than they used to be. Beauty products are a great example of this. It’s pretty much the same philosophy with condoms. As time goes on, they can start to deteriorate, especially if they’re formed with things such as lube and spermicide.
How long do condoms typically last? It will vary from product to product but generally speaking condoms should last four to five years. The expiry date should be written on the packet. Durex reports that its condoms normally have a shelf life of 5 years.
Safety precautions. As you’ve probably discovered with food, expiry dates are guidelines. There are factors that can impact the life of a product so it can expire sooner or later. With condoms, storage can change how long a condom lasts. Condoms should be kept in cool, dark environments. So, if you’re keeping them somewhere hot or in your car, they likely won’t last as long as the expiry date says because heat will cause them to break down.
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How can I tell if a condom has expired? You’re going to have to use your judgement and be aware if there any rips or holes or if it breaks when you’re opening up the package. KidsHealth.org reports that if a condom feels dry, stiff, or not very flexible when you take it out of the package, it’s time to get a new one. Same goes if it feels weirdly sticky.
According to Women’s Health Mag, using any condom (even if it’s expired) is still better than using nothing. However, using an expired one doesn’t offer as much protection against STDs and pregnancy. So, it’s in your best interests to wait until you have a new pack before hooking up and plugging in!