When it comes to sex and safety, all you need is a condom… right? Unfortunately, you may not be as protected as you think if you use a condom that’s past its expiration date. The good news is that you are definitely safer with condoms than when you are without. Here is what you need to know about safe sex and figuring out if condoms are expired.
Condoms protect you against a range of diseases as well as pregnancy. Whether you’re worried about sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, HIV, and others, or unwanted pregnancy, condoms can protect you. While condoms are not one hundred percent effective, they are pretty close, which can give you some peace of mind when it comes to having sex. In addition, they come with different types, colors, and flavors that may assist you in pleasing your woman.
When to Use Condoms
You need to use a condom when you’re having sex to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases or STDs (also known as sexually transmitted infections or STIs) and unwanted pregnancies.
You should always use a condom if:
- You’re having sex with someone, or several people, who have not been tested.
- You’re having sex for fun, and you’re not sure if your partner or partners are clear via testing of any STDs.
- You have an STD that you want to keep to yourself.
- You’re having sex with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease.
- You’re trying not to get pregnant, and you are not using any other form of birth control.
- You are not trying to get pregnant, and you ARE using another form of birth control.
When to Talk to Your Partner
Ideally, you want to talk about safety before any sexual activity. If you’re in the BDSM world, you will probably cover dos and don’ts with your partner before anything starts, even if your activity isn’t inherently sexual. When in doubt, it is always good to bring up the idea of safe sex. While your partner may or may not recognize the benefits immediately, condoms are a great way to help ensure peace of mind.
Are Condoms a Guarantee?
No, condoms are not a guarantee. However, they give you a pretty good shot at protection. If you choose to use other methods, you should research your chances, depending on your needs. For instance, if you’re a woman who is trying to avoid unwanted pregnancy or a man who is trying to avoid impregnating a woman, relying on the pullout method gives you poorer odds compared to using a condom.
Again, while using a condom is not a hundred percent guarantee, you do have pretty good odds with a condom compared to without a condom.
When Not to Use a Condom
In most cases, you DO want to use a condom to protect yourself during sex. However, there are a few cases apart from when the condoms are expired, where a condom may not be very helpful. In other words, you don’t want a condom if:
- You or your partner, or partners, have an allergy to latex or the condom’s material.
- You and your partner, or partners, want to get pregnant.
- You and your partner, or partners, have been tested, and you are exclusive.
How Often Do Condoms Break?
Condoms break on average of 7.3% the time. Keep in mind that these statistics are based on the rigorous use of a typical, unexpired condom. A typical condom can break if not used correctly or, simply, by accident. However, when condoms are expired, they are known to break more often and will typically compromise sexual safety.
Do Condoms Expire?
If condoms are expired ever? Yes, they do. There is a time, the condom expiration date when condoms aren’t quite as effective. Keep in mind that any protection is better than nothing. However, if you are going through the trouble of using protection, you do want to ensure that this protection is in good shape.
How Long Do Condoms Last?
Many condoms are designed to last for several years. However, this depends on the manufacturer. For the best results, check the expiration date on your condom.
Does Lube Expire?
While most lubricants are designed for long term use, they do typically expire. Check the bottle to find the expiration date on your lubricant.
Does Birth Control Expire?
In most cases, the answer is yes! However, it depends on the type of birth control that you tend to want to use. While condoms do tend to carry an expiration date on the package, other methods of birth control, including pills and intrauterine devices, carry an expiration date as well.
My Partner Doesn’t Want to Use a Condom, What Do I Do?
First of all, talk to your partner and find out their reasons for not wanting to use a condom. In some cases, the reasons may be valid. For instance, some people do have allergies to latex, which is a common material that tends to be used in condoms.
However, if you feel that your partner is simply being lazy, or putting their wellbeing before yours, you’ll want to reconsider your commitment to that partner. After all, if they are ignoring safety without a valid reason, they may simply not be a good partner.
Again, communication is key! Speak to your partner about your concerns. If possible, talk about protection before you even start thinking about sexual activity.
Other Protection Methods
Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, you may have other methods of protection available. In many cases, a condom will supplement, not deter, protection.
- In most cases, birth control methods tend to come with an expiration date, act accordingly, and check if condoms are expired!
- How long are condoms good for? That depends on the condom’s expiration date. Look at that date carefully!
- While expiration dates are not absolute, it’s better to be safe!