How Long Does Sperm Live – Precautions for Pregnancy

How Long Does Sperm Live - Precautions for Pregnancy

Sperm’s lifespan after masturbation depends on several circumstances. Sperm stays viable for many days in the reproductive tract of women. It is possible to fertilize the sperm as long as it is alive. Sperm life can only sustain around five days. However, there is a process to freeze the sperm to preserve it for many years. So, if you want to know everything about how long does sperm live and more, start scrolling down! We have given a vivid description of it!

How long does sperm live after ejaculation outside the body?

Sperm dies soon outside the body as it comes in contact with air. However, there are a lot of factors that affect the lifespan of the ejaculated sperm. Sperm gets dried up very fast due to air exposure and other environmental elements.

The significant thing to keep in mind is that people who are opting for IVF (in Vitro Fertilization) or IUI (intrauterine insemination) that separated sperm from semen or Washed Sperm only survive for about 72 hours in the incubator. A well-maintained preserved sperm, or what you may call frozen sperm, can sustain with life for decades.

How long does the sperm live in the vagina?

Sperm can sustain its life in the woman’s uterus for around five days after ejaculation. It happens when any couple has sex without protection; then the woman can conceive while they are ovulating. Sperm stays alive even after ovulation at the end of the period and fertilizes with the eggs.

A woman can also conceive if fresh sperm gets near her vagina. However, there are myths that oxygen dries up the sperm. But it is not at all true. Sperm can make movements until it dries up completely.

There is also a chance of getting pregnant if you have anal sex without protection as sperm can leak and go towards the vagina. At times, the moisture lets the sperm travel through the cervix and reach the uterus. So, there will be chances of fertilization in such scenarios, and one can get pregnant.

It is also possible that pregnancy can happen if sperm travels with water into a woman’s body. However, the sperm can live in a hot water tub for a short time. If it travels into the woman’s body as soon as it is released, a woman can get pregnant. Sperm in this scenario enters into the vagina through water, then travels through the cervix and reaches the uterus. However, this scenario is rare and almost impossible though.

Also, there are sperms which live a shorter period than usual. The time depends on several conditions of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and vagina. The cervical mucus consistency is also a significant factor in this case. Sperm will not live longer if the condition of the woman is not fertile enough. If the fertility of the woman is not in the right condition, then sperm would die soon.

How Long Does Sperm Live

The fertility window

As you now know that sperm can survive its life for around five days; you can calculate that with the right fertility condition. So, the fertilization window can be up to 6 days as sperm survives five days and the ovulation period is one day.

Once the body identifies the natural menstrual cycle, the algorithm considers the survival period of sperm. It means a woman gets a minimum of five days before the ovulation day. However, this process takes time, and to measure this period correctly, you need to be consistent.

How motility of sperm plays an important role in pregnancy

Once a man ejaculates during intercourse, the sperm goes from the vagina to the cervix and finally reaches the uterus. The contraction of the uterus draws the sperm towards the fallopian tubes. It will be easier for the sperm to travel when the woman is closer to her ovulation day. However, you must know that the sperm enters into the fallopian tubes in just a few minutes.

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A woman must have favorable cervical mucus to get pregnant. The consistent egg white in the mucus is the best condition for a woman to conceive. The journey of sperm can be difficult if there is dryness in the cervical mucus or if the mucus gets thicker.

You will find many couples who get worried about sperm quality and count. That is because they are concerned if it poses an issue to conceive. But it is only a part of the equation of sperm motility. However, many other things affect motility.

Are you wondering what sperm motility is? Well, sperm motility means the sperm’s ability to swim in the right direction. Motility is an important factor in the case of sperm count. Both play significant roles in conceiving a child. If there is any disruption in the journey of the sperm reaching the egg, the woman will not get pregnant. We have made a list of factors that affect sperm motility. Check out the following:

  • Non-nutritional diet
  • High-stress levels
  • High temperature
  • Specific medications

However, in the case of intrauterine insemination (IUI), it puts the sperm directly into the uterus. There is no effort needed for the sperm to swim from the cervix to the vagina

During in vitro insemination (IVF), the sperm meets women’s eggs in the lab for fertilization; then, after successful fertilization, doctors put it inside a woman’s uterus.

There is also another process in IVF, which is called ICSI (injected intracytoplasmic sperm). In this process, doctors inject sperm inside the egg.

How long does sperm live in vagina?

There are many narratives about how long sperm can live in the body of a woman or vagina. Some experts say that cervical mucus is only responsible as it provides nutrients to the sperm. Cervical mucus is also the medium by which sperm stays alive in its journey to the ovum. However, sometimes the natural acidity of the vagina kills sperm. The acidity actually protects the vagina from bacteria that are foreign to the body. If everything is in the right physical condition, sperm stays alive five to six days after intercourse. This is quite amazing because sperm can hardly live outside in the environment as there is no presence of cervical mucus.

A study suggested that sperm’s lifetime into a woman’s body spends on natural flora’s type. Natural flora is in the woman’s reproductive tract.

To comprehend women’s fertility, cervical mucus tracking is important. When cervical mucus is nutritious, and the fertile sperm can stay alive longer in the female body. Moreover, the sperm gets sufficient time to get to the eggs or wait until the eggs get released. Many studies suggest that the fertility in cervical mucus is optimum before the ovulation day, and if in this period sperm goes into the vagina, then pregnancy is inevitable.

How long does sperm live on skin?

The lifetime of sperm on the outer skin varies from person to person. It depends on age, physical health conditions, and much more. By the medicine doctor at Kimberley hospital, a large number of sperm die within half an hour on the exterior side of the body.

As per male reproductive expert MD Michael A Witt, apart from physical status and senility, the climate condition and dampness also decide the lifetime of the released sperm. For example, ejaculated sperm on a warm surface such as skin can survive a little more than sperm on a parched, chilly surface.

However, the sperm lives on the human skin for a very limited span. In order to get pregnant, the man needs to hold the sperm and then put it into the vagina before it gets aired. The ejaculated sperm need to dribble into the female genital for the possibility of reproduction.

Sperm can not survive outside the body

As long as the sperm is inside the vagina, it remains alive. Sperm can live a few moments on the surface of the skin as long semen gets parched.

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There is a very low possibility of pregnancy if the ejaculation process happens close to the vagina or near the anus. Sperm lives a bit longer on the wet and moisturized skin rather than moisture less or parched skin. As per UCSB, pre-ejaculation liquids hold sperm and can survive in the vagina. Around the virginal area, sperm can survive for almost 20 minutes.

Here is some time span regarding how long sperm does survive based on how fast ejaculated sperm gets dried up. There will be no chance of probability of pregnancy with dry semen.

How long does sperm live in the male body?

Sperm lives 42-76 days in the male body. And the sperm matures in between 3-5 days. It lives in the urethra for around 4.5 hours.

How long does sperm live in a woman?

Sperm can be alive for around five days maximum in a woman’s body. In the initial 48 hours, sperm would be able to sustain its viability most.

Sperm lives in the close area of the genitals for approximately an hour and in your hands for approximately 30-40 minutes.

Although sperm can’t live on skin or hands if you wash it with water, that’s because water kills sperm when it is not in the body.

Sperm also can maintain its life on fabric few minutes or any hard surfaces provided there is no high temperature.

It is difficult to answer that how long does sperm live in the male body. Research showed that an individual sperm needs 42-76 days to reach its maturity. It means a man produces 1500 sperm/second. Although sperm with its optimum maturity can only survive 2-5 days before break down and again, it gets recycled in the male body itself.

Technically, sperm can survive in the male body for many months. The viability of the sperm does not sustain long. However, the male body constantly produces sperm that is viable as the body assumes a function is going on in reproductive health.

The fact that age declines that sperm production rate, but there is no stop in the production. A man of 102 years became father to a child even. There is a constant recycling of sperm in the male body as the body releases sperm from time to time. Sperm consist of semen, and it only stays alive during the maturity days and a few days more. The living time of sperm in the urethra is approximately 4.5 hours with all its viability.

What is the suitable temperature for the sperm to survive?

The temperature needs to be around 93 degrees for the sperm to survive. Sperm can keep its life in moisture and pH of 7-8 in a bit lower temperature of the human body. Many sperm banks suggest room temperature is right for storing semen samples, but in that scenario, the lab can only store for an hour or even less.

The vulva region of a woman’s body generally has 91-93 temperature with pH 5-6. Also, this area consists of moisture. The area around the penis has 89-93 degrees of temperature with pH 5-6.  Therefore, temperature plays a significant part in how long does sperm lives.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how long does sperm live and the way it depends on several factors such as its exposure to air, temperature, etc. Several myths tell you that one can get pregnant in a hot water tub if there is ejaculated sperm, but this is not true. Sperm lives longer with moisture, and surviving outside the body less likely. The possibility that sperm will survive reduces as there is any moisture out of the body. Of course, sperm can live inside the female body for a longer time and travel to the egg. All of which results in pregnancy. Otherwise, sperm only lives for few minutes without the ideal conditions we have mentioned above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How long does sperm live inside the female reproductive system?

Ans: Sperm can live inside the female reproductive system for up to 5 days. However, the majority of sperm typically survive for 2-3 days.

Q2. Can sperm survive outside the body?

Ans: Sperm cannot survive for long outside the body. Once sperm is exposed to air or dried out, it usually dies within a matter of minutes to hours.

Q3. Can sperm survive in water?

Ans: No, sperm cannot survive in water. Water can wash away sperm and provide an inhospitable environment, causing them to die quickly.

Q4. How long can sperm survive in fertile cervical mucus?

Ans: In fertile cervical mucus, sperm can survive for up to 5 days. This mucus provides a nourishing environment that helps sperm travel through the reproductive system.

Q5. How long can frozen sperm remain viable?

Ans: Through specialized freezing techniques like sperm cryopreservation, sperm can be stored and remain viable for many years, even decades. This allows individuals to preserve their sperm for future use, such as assisted reproductive procedures.