When you're in the midst of an exciting sexual encounter, there comes a time when you have to wear a condom but inexistent you just don't check its expiry date with the mind about what difference it will make. However, condom expiration is a real thing. If you use an expired condom, the effectiveness of the condom may be significantly reduced, or worse, voided completely.

The expiration dates of most condoms are printed on the packaging. When a condom has passed its expiration date, it begins to degrade and becomes much less effective at preventing STDs and pregnancy. However, it is not only the expiration date that is important. When condoms are not properly stored, the material degrades before the expiration date. If a condom appears dry, sticky, or stiff when removed from its package, do not use it.

Condoms usually should be stored in a cool, dry place where they won't get crinkled or dried out. Also, it is suggested never to keep condoms in wallet or pant pockets as they may get damaged. Never use oil-based lubricants with condoms, such as lotion, massage oil, mineral oil, petroleum jelly, or baby oil, as these can degrade its usage ability. 

Expiration and Efficiency Of Condoms

Condoms do have an expiry date, and using one that is past its expiry date can significantly reduce its effectiveness. Expired condoms are often drier and weaker, making them more likely to break during sexual contact. As a result, you and your partner are at risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unintended pregnancy. 

If you use male condoms correctly every time you have sex, they are about 98 percent effective. Because no one is perfect, male condoms that have not expired are about 85 percent effective. If condoms expire, these figures will fall significantly. A condom has an average shelf life of three to five years, depending on the manufacturer and how it is stored. Continue reading to find out why they expire, how to tell if a condom is safe to use, how to store them properly, and more.

Why Do Condoms Expire?

It's not like condoms will suddenly get expired in one day. It has enough time to get expired until and unless other factors affect it.  Condoms have to do with a complex process that causes the condom's material to degrade and lose its effectiveness over time. Essentially, the stronger the material used to make the condom, the longer it will last.

Aside from the material, the longevity of a condom is also dependent on proper storage, as even direct sunlight can affect it. As a result, it is critical to keep your condoms in a dry place and to open the individual condom packs only before using them. Condoms, like many other medical products, need to be stored properly and many factors affect them. 

Wrong Storage

Years spent in a pocket, purse, wallet, or glove box can wear down a condom's strength. That is why condoms should be stored in a secure location, preferably outside of your bathroom, away from heat, humidity, and sharp objects.

Materials Used

The type of material you prefer influences how quickly they expire. Natural materials, such as lambskin, degrade faster than synthetic materials, such as latex and polyurethane.

Additives

Chemical additives such as spermicide can reduce the life of a condom by several years. Spermicide reduces the lifespan of latex and polyurethane condoms by up to two years. It's unclear whether lube or flavorings affect expiration, so proceed with caution. If you notice any signs of wear and tear or an unusual odor, discard the condom and replace it.

How Long Do Condoms Last?

Condoms have an expiry date based on when they were manufactured, quality tested, and packaged, according to experts. Most condoms have a shelf life of 1 to 5 years; however, how long a condom lasts is entirely dependent on the material from which it is made.

Latex condoms, for example, can have a shelf life of up to 5 years, depending on how the condom is stored. Non-latex condoms made of polyisoprene a type of artificial rubber typically have a shelf life of up to three years. Another factor that can affect the condom's expiry date is whether it contains spermicide or other chemicals. Chemicals such as spermicide can compromise the condom's integrity, reducing its lifespan significantly. 

Regardless of the material, all individual condom packets should have an expiry date on them, so all you have to do is check this date before use. Use the condom if it is still on a date. If the condom is out of date or there is no date visible on the pack.

Can Expired Condoms Be Used?

We've alluded to this question before, but we think it's worth repeating to ensure you don't get any unexpected surprises after your act. The answer is straightforward: NO. You cannot use out-of-date condoms. Using expired condoms means that the condom's quality guarantee and effectiveness are no longer valid.

Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure. It's always to use safety like condoms rather than fall into any Never hesitate to buy condoms or any other such products. AADAR has Health Experts with whom you can easily connect and discuss your sexual concerns. To obtain the most accurate diagnosis, you can consult your family doctor first, or you can contact our Health Expert or connect with us at  +919867667699