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How to Check a Condom Wrapper for Damage


Let’s face it, we aren’t always as nice to our condoms as we should be. We leave them in hot cars or in a pair of pants that just went into the washing machine. That’s why before using a condom you should always check the expiration date (which is printed on the packaging), and then give the wrapper a thorough inspection. Here’s how to do it.

To make sure your condom is still intact, first press on the wrapper—you should feel a little cushion of air. If you can feel the air cushion it means that the outside of the wrapper has not been damaged or punctured. Next, while still pressing on the wrapper, feel for the slip-slide feeling of the lube. (Unfortunately, this won’t work with unlubricated condoms.) When condoms are left in the heat or punctured, the lube can dry or leak out which in turn dries out the condom, weakening it and making it more likely to break in action.

Remember, the best place to store a condom is in a cool, dry place. Don’t put them in the sun, or in the fridge, or even in your purse (as things like your keys can jangle around and puncture them). For more best practices on condom use (as well as free or low-cost access to all the methods of birth control), make an appointment with a provider at your nearest The Right Time health center.

Updated January 2022

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