How long do condoms last?

How long do condoms last? | Durex UK
Condoms: breaking news!


Every fibre of your body is screaming at you to get going and since you don’t want to spoil the mood, you are probably looking to get the condom on as quickly as possible. It is a fact that your body and that of your partner(s) tell you when it is ready for the condom to be rolled on.

Condom expiration is a very real thing. You use an out-of-date condom at great risk. Its effectiveness can be reduced. So, the question to be asked is “can condoms expire" and “should you check the expiry date every time you use one?”

After all, you wear a condom not only for health and hygiene reasons but also to prevent pregnancy in heterosexual relationships.

Always be prepared

Can condoms expire?

The hard truth? Yes, condoms can indeed expire. Manufacturers such as Durex always have an expiry date printed on each individually wrapped condom and stamped on each larger pack. An expired condom has a greater risk of splitting, tearing, or puncturing during sex.  Also, beware of buying cheap imitations because their quality control may not be up to the same standards as more dependable brands.

Why do condoms expire?

It's not simply the case that the condom "goes off" like the piece of yoghurt in the back of your fridge. Condom manufacture is a complex process that results in the material of the condom breaking down over time and thereby losing its effectiveness. But, apart from the material used in its construction, how long a condom will last is also dependent on whether the condom contains spermicide. Substances such as spermicide can damage the condom’s reliability and significantly reduces its lifespan.

The label on the packing reading “store in a cool dry place” is just as important, because sunlight and unnecessary heat are both detrimental to a condom’s shelf life.

Can you use out-of-date condoms?

Here is a simple truth. If the condom is in date and has not be damaged, go ahead and use it. If the condom is out of date, damaged or there is no date visible on the pack, throw it away and find a new one. Case closed!

How can you combat condom expiry dates?

While the typical expiry date varies between one and five years, you may feel you have all the time in the world to use the condoms you currently have. Sadly, this is not always the case.  Check your stock and toss out any date-expired ones.   

And at the same time, why not take the opportunity to try something new and make your collection of condoms all that more interesting?  For example, Durex has a range of fun, stimulating condoms like our “Intense Ribbed” and “Dotted variations so why not add some of these to your collection? 

It’s a simple maxim really, keep your condom selection up to date and undamaged, so that you can reach in, roll on and enjoy whenever the mood takes you.

If it fits right, it feels right 

Can a condom break and how do you know if it is broken?

First, do a quick visual of the condom before putting it on. They do sometimes break in the packaging or when being fitted to the penis or sex toy.

While wearing a condom, the wearer can typically feel it break because there will be an immediate change in sensation.  If that happens, tell your partner, pull out, inspect and, if need be, apply a new one. With proper pre-inspection, application and use, condoms are deemed to be 98% effective in pregnancy prevention.

If you have any other questions about condoms and their usage, please visit our Explore Sex blog and check out our 5 simple step guide to how to put on a condom properly.

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