Condom vending machines have become more and more common, especially in places like airports, subways, public restrooms and in school and college bathrooms. They are a handy option for many young people who are too embarrassed or scared to buy them from a drug store or ask their parents. Now, these individuals can easily buy condoms from a more convenient and more discreet source. But are the condoms you get from vending machines safe? Are they as effective as condoms you can get from the drug store or online?
The simple answer is yes, as long as you take a few precautions. First of all, vending machine condoms are almost always the same brands you can find at your local drug store. Different vending machines may have different brands, of course. However, as long as the condom has not been opened or tampered with, you should have no issues.
Things to Consider
Whenever you buy condoms from a drug store or online in larger boxes, usually in 6, 10 or 12 packs, you have the safety of having extra packaging to insure there has been no tampering or breakage. With vending machine condoms, this is not the case. When you put in your money and select the condom, it will spit out a condom that just has one wrapper. To insure that your condom is safe, always make sure to carefully inspect the outer wrapper for any holes or tears. If you find any, throw the condom away. Not only can the condom inside be defective, but the air that may have gotten inside the package may also have a negative effect on the condom, making it dry out faster and it would be more likely to burst or tear during use.
You also want to take a look at the expiration date. You might be surprised to know that condoms have expiration dates, but they do, and it’s for your safety. Condoms that have been around for a while eventually dry out. A dry condom is more likely to break, tear or come loose during sex. If you encounter a condom from a vending machine that is past its expiration, don’t take a chance on it, throw it away.
The placement of the vending machine is also important. Is it placed where it can get direct heat or sunlight? Then you might want to go to another vending machine. Condoms should not be exposed to heat as they can be damaged, and you might not even realize it from the outer wrapper.
You also want to make sure the condom itself is properly labeled as effective against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. There are some types of condoms that are only for prevention of pregnancy and not for protection from sexually transmitted diseases, such as extra thin condoms made from lambskin. Always make sure you’re getting the right one.
To summarize, buying condoms from vending machines is safe, just make sure you take the above precautions into consideration and you’ll be fine.