What you should know about using expired condoms.

Condoms are readily available in LGBTQ bars, night clubs and community centers across the country, and they’ve been the gold-standard to prevent the transmission of HIV and STIs for years. But there’s one thing you should always do before rolling one down on your party pickle: check the expiration date.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all condoms have an expiration date printed on its package, along with a laundry list of other legal notices.  And the date actually means something – especially to those of us living in hot, dry climates like Phoenix: condoms can actually become less effective after they’ve passed it.

Phoenix residents know better than anyone the meaning of blazing hot summers. And if you’ve ever fumbled through a junk drawer to find a rubber band only to have it snap in your hands, you know what our climate can do to rubber.

Latex rubber can break-down over time, making your condoms less flexible and causing it to be more prone to breakage or tearing during sex.

So what should you do if you’re about to play hide-the-sausage, and all you have is an expired condom?

Use it.  Since there’s a chance it won’t break – the general consensus is that it’s better than no protection at all.  Lube it up really well and check on it from time to time.  But the next chance you get, replenish your supplies with a fresh batch of condoms and let the shenanigans begin!