How Long Do Condoms Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 To 5 Years

Reproduction, one of the basic instincts of humans, involves getting intimate. As it’s unavoidable and pleasurable, people should prefer some contraceptive methods to be on the safe side. One of the contraceptive methods is to use condoms (male or female).

A condom helps in the prevention of pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted diseases. However, 15 out of 100 typical couples using male condoms will have an accidental pregnancy, whereas it is 21 out of 100 for couples using female condoms.

Condoms are widely used by adults across the globe. The highest consuming country of condoms in the world is the United States. Following it, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, and India also top the table.

How Long Do Condoms Last?

TypesPeriod
Condom’s expiryOne to five years
If the package’s seal is broken or after useFew hours (due to dust and dryness, the membrane damages shortly)

When couples are concerned about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, a condom emerges as the most preferred choice of contraception and prevention of STDs. Using condoms can be the best way for males to take care of north control and protection from STDs.

Talking about condoms, they are one of the methods of birth control that plays a role of barrier and blocks the route of sperm through which it would fertilize with egg. They contain a lubricant and spermicide that destroys the sperm. They can effectively reduce the risks of HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, and many other STDs and provide protection.

Condoms are effective as they restrict the semen from entering the vagina. Both male and female condoms can’t be used at a time as friction would either break them or stick together or make one of them slip out during intercourse.

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There are separate condoms available for both males and females. Male condoms are more commonly used as a contraceptive method. The types of condoms used are latex rubber, synthetic(polyurethane and polyisoprene), or lambskin.

A condom shouldn’t be used again and again. Oil-based lubricants, such as petroleum jelly, must not be used with condoms as they may break down the rubber.

Condoms can also get damaged by fingernails or body piercings. In addition to condoms, couples also use both control pills or IUDs for extra protection from unwanted pregnancy.

This contraceptive stuff can be easily found in drugstores, supermarkets, or vending machines. It doesn’t require a doctor’s visit or prescription.

Why Do Condoms Last That Long?

Condoms also possess an expiry date, just like every medical product. However, a condom lasts about one to five years, depending upon how it is stored, what materials are used, and whether additives are added or not.

Remaining for a longer period inside a pocket or wallet reduces the condom’s strength due to wear and tear. Therefore, it’s important to store them in a safe place-not probably in the bathroom,  in a cool, dry place. They must be kept away from heat, moisture, and sharp objects.

The type of material used to manufacture condoms is also responsible for its shelf lifespan. The natural lambskin breaks down quicker than the latex or polyurethane. If additives like spermicide are added while manufacturing condoms, it may also shorten the condom’s lifespan.

Before having a condom, one must be aware of its effects. It may disrupt spontaneity during sexual intercourse and would also reduce sensitivity. It is also bad for some men that they are unable to maintain an erection while using it.

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Some men and women also have an allergy to latex rubber. Therefore, it is usually preferred to use polyurethane condoms in this case. If someone feels irritation or pain during sexual intercourse, they must consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Nowadays, getting intimate is unavoidable for couples. Therefore, they must be concerned about the use of contraceptive methods to be safe from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. One must be well-aware of the usage of these condoms.

People should not use condoms that have expired or been damaged. To have additional protection, one can take birth control pills or IUDs to prevent pregnancy as well as STDs.

Before using it, the condoms must be well checked whether they’re torn or have holes.

Condoms made from latex and polyurethane protect from STD but not lambskin. If someone feels irritated or uncomfortable, they must have a visit to the doctor.

References

  1. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(06)68597-8/fulltext
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886999001580
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