Condoms need to be of top quality to meet industry standards and make it effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy and STD transmission. Fortunately with the use of modern technology, many manufacturers are able to ensure the durability and reliability of their products.
Not many consumers may be fully aware of the tests that condoms go through in the manufacturing plant. If you think there’s only one test involved, there are actually several of them. Some tests are meant to measure the durability of the entire condom, some only involve part of the rubber and the other tests are meant to determine if there are holes in the rubber.
From the time the condom is made, it already undergoes its initial test. Generally, though, there are two major tests – the non-destructive and the destructive.
The electrical conductance test is a non-destructive type. This is to find out if the condom can block electricity. In order for a condom to be considered durable and of good quality, it has to be able to prevent electricity from passing through.
The other tests involved are destructive. These are the water leak, tensile or stretch and the airburst tests.
The water leak test is used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It involves filling the condom with 10 ounces of water and determining if there are leaks.
The tensile or stretch test, meanwhile, includes the slicing of a band from the condom’s shaft and then testing its ability to stretch.
The airbust test, on the other hand, is used in Canada, the U.S. and in European countries. This test entails inflating the condom with air until it bursts and measuring the maximum volume of air tolerated by the condom.
From these three steps, the other tests involved are done in the packaging and packaging stages.
In addition to the testing procedures at the plant, normally companies also conduct surveys and research to find out directly from consumers their opinion of the product and its effectiveness as well.
In the packaging stage, what condoms undergo are the package integrity and lubricant tests. After that, a simulated aging test is done and this process involves warming the wrapped condom inside an oven at a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius.
The condoms that undergo these tests are just a sample taken from a newly made batch. In the U.S., a single batch is not allowed to be sold if five or more of the condoms out of the 1,000 do not pass the test.
Now that you know all these information on condom testing, you need not worry so much about it breaking during sexual intercourse. Experts strongly recommend using the condom correctly and consistently to ensure its effectiveness. Using it the correct way means you or your partner put it on by following the right steps and then disposing of it the right way after use.
Keep in mind as well that a condom needs to be used only once. Always get a new one for every sexual activity.