All condoms have an expiry date and it’s important to check whether yours is still in date before you use it.
But don’t worry if you’ve just bought a pack, most condoms will last for a long time before they expire. However, if you haven’t been sexually active for a while or you have found a packet of condoms you’d forgotten about, it is worth checking they are not past their shelf life.
Most condoms will expire between two to five years from the date of purchase. Almost all condoms will have their expiry date printed in their individual foil wrappers as well as the box they came in. Once they have passed their expiry date, they will start to weaken and may become less flexible. This will increase the risk of the condom splitting during intercourse which could lead to an unplanned pregnancy or a sexually-transmitted infection.
It is also important to make sure your condom is stored properly. Keep your condoms in a cool, dark place to ensure it remains effective – a bedroom drawer is ideal and a better choice than a bathroom cabinet where your condoms may be exposed to warm, humid conditions.
Even if your condom has not expired, do not use it if it feels stiff or dry. This can happen when a condom is not stored properly and will reduce its effectiveness.