How long prophylactics last counts on what they’re do of and how you keep them. Using an expired condom isn’t a an excellent idea, since expired prophylactics can construct tiny holes, become brittle, or tear open throughout sex. Assuming they’re stored correctly, latex and polyurethane condoms have the longest shelf life—up to 5 years. Yet be sure to usage the right kind of lube, as part chemicals can make certain types of condoms an ext likely come break.

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composed by Alison Dalton

All prophylactics expire at some point. How long castle last depends on what they’re made of and also how you store them. Unlike various other contraceptives, most condoms can defend you from both unintended pregnancy and also sexuallytransfer infections (STIs). The exemption is natural prophylactics made from lambskin or sheepskin, which don’t protect versus STIs.


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Different kinds of condoms

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

Latex prophylactics are made from organic rubber. Around 80% of prophylactics on the sector are latex.Lambskin/sheepskin (natural) prophylactics are make from lamb or lamb intestinal membrane. Castle account because that the continuing to be 5% that the condom market. Be affected by each other in mind that, unequal the other varieties of condoms, lambskin and sheepskin prophylactics don’t protect versus STIs, choose HIV/AIDS.

You can additionally find condoms coated through a spermicide, commonly nonoxynol-9. Although in ~ first, this would seem like a good idea because that providing twin protection against unintended pregnancy, it’s yes, really not. Spermicide-coated condoms don’t work-related any much better than uncoated condoms to protect against pregnancy. They deserve to even reason irritation and urinary tract infections in women. And also they alleviate the expectation (the time before they expire) of prophylactics by increase to 2 years (Mahdy, 2020).

When execute different species of prophylactics expire?

The external of every box of condoms and every separation, personal, instance condom wrapper has actually a stamp with an expiration date. Be certain to inspect the expiration date prior to you purchase condoms.

Condoms have really different lifespans, relying on the product they’re make of and whether castle have ideal storage (Mahdy, 2020; nationwide Coalition, 2021; FDA, 2020):

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


These dates assume the prophylactics aren’t coated v spermicide—which, together mentioned, reduces their lifespan by about two years—and the they’re save on computer correctly.

Where have to you save condoms?

Heat, humidity, and also direct sunlight can degrade both the condom wrapper and the condom, bring about them to break down. So it’s best to store prophylactics in a cool, dark, dried place, prefer a closet or drawer. Avoid keeping them in locations that can acquire warm or humid, favor your bathroom, wallet, or car. It’s vital to prevent exposing castle to straight sunlight, like keeping them close to a window.

Should you usage different species of lube with different condoms?

It’s crucial to use the right kind that 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 v latex condoms. Oil-based lubes include baby oil, coconut oil, petroleum jelly (like Vaseline), most hand and body lotions, massage oil, mineral oil, edible oils, and whipped cream. Oil-based lubes can cause latex come tear.Polyurethane—Use water-based or oil-based lubes. Don’t usage silicone-based lubes—some types of silicone can malfunction polyurethane.Polyisoprene—Use water-based or silicone-based lubes. Don’t use oil-based lubes. Polyisoprene is a artificial rubber, and like latex, it can tear when supplied with oils. (However, it’s safe to use polyisoprene prophylactics if you have actually a latex allergy).Lambskin/sheepskin—Use with any type of lube.

All of that might be a bit much come think around when you have something an ext urgent on her mind than comparison shopping—so it’s an excellent to know that you have the right to use water-based lubes through any kind of condom.


How deserve to you call if a condom is quiet good?

In enhancement to check the expiration date, friend should constantly (National Coalition, 2021):

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

What space the opportunities of gaining pregnant when using a condom?

The opportunities of acquiring pregnant once using condoms have a lot to perform with “perfect use” versus “typical use.” Perfect usage is using condoms during and throughout every time you have penetrative sex. Usual use means failing come use prophylactics during every sexual encounter or not making use of them correctly—the type of mistakes that can happen in real life.

Male condom success prices (Marfatia, 2015):

Perfect use: 97% success price (three ladies out the 100 will get pregnant)Typical use: 86% success rate (14 ladies out the 100 will gain pregnant)

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

Perfect use: 95% success price (five females out the 100 will obtain pregnant)Typical use: 79% success price (21 females out the 100 will acquire pregnant)

Condom slippage or breakage is rare, yet it’s been reported in 2% of instances (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 protection available. In the case, a condom that’s happen its expiration day is far better than nothing. Yet remember that utilizing an expired condom is putting you at hazard for pregnancy and STIs. To protect against those risks, you’re far better off engaging in other varieties of sex that don’t need a condom, like common masturbation.