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Is It OK to Carry Condoms in a Wallet?

Some people carry condoms in their wallet so they’re prepared in case they have sex. But that isn’t the best place for them. Over time, the condom material can wear down, making it weaker and more likely to break. Using a broken condom during sex can make it easier to get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and lead to pregnancy.

Here's condoms can get damaged — and better places to keep them.

How Can Condoms Get Damaged When Stored?

If you've kept a condom in a wallet, its wrapper can look fine, but the condom inside might not be. Condoms can get folded when you open and close a wallet. They can also become worn from pressure if you sat on the wallet.

It’s easy to forget you’re carrying a condom and leave it in your wallet for a long time. Condoms have expiration dates, and older condoms that have expired may not work as well as new ones. Old condoms are more likely to break down.

Keeping condoms in other places also can damage them. Condoms can get too hot, bent, and worn in back pockets. Condoms and their wrappers might rip if carried next to sharp things like keys. If a wrapper gets torn, the condom can dry out, making it more likely to break.

What's the Best Way to Store and Carry Condoms?

To help protect condoms at home, keep them in your bedside drawer or somewhere that doesn’t get too hot, cold, or humid. A bathroom isn’t a good storage place. Think about putting them where you keep your phone, wallet, or other items you always take with you. That way you’ll remember to bring the condoms too.

Before you go out, put a few condoms in your purse or jacket pocket. It’s also OK to carry them in a front pants pocket for a few hours. You can put any unopened ones back when you get home.

What Else Should I Know?

Sometimes condoms can tear even if you store and carry them the right way. If you have sex and a condom breaks (or slips off), you and your partner should get tested for STDs.

If either of you could get pregnant, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about emergency contraception (a way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex). You can also go to a health clinic like Planned Parenthood.

Reviewed by: Joy Friedman, MD
Date Reviewed: May 1, 2024

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