Q: Can condoms expire?
A: You may notice that your box of condoms has an expiration date on the side. Most last about five years after their expiration date, although it depends on the brand. The older they get past the expiration date, the less successful they are at preventing pregnancy or STDs.
If you’re concerned that your condom is drawing close to its expiration date, the best thing you can do (besides buying a fresh box of condoms) is to check out the condom itself. Is it too dry or too sticky? Is it stiff or inflexible? Are there noticeable holes or tears? Chances are, these condoms have either expired or they have been damaged in some way and they aren’t safe for sex.
To improve the life of your condoms, make sure you keep them in a cool, dry place, such as a medical cabinet or bedside table. Keeping them somewhere warm, like in your wallet, car, or pocket, can lead to them breaking down faster.
When in doubt, check out our complete guide to condom materials to find what’s best for you.