How long can sperm live in a woman’s body after ejaculation?

By Kelly Park | Published: March 9, 2022

The lifespan of sperm inside a woman’s body depends on the sperm itself as well as the surrounding environmental factors.

A healthy adult male releases around 60 to 100 million sperm in a single ejaculation. These sperm have to travel from the vagina all the way up to the uterus and into a fallopian tube in order to fertilize an egg. Only a few out of the hundred million sperm have the ability to swim all the way up to the fallopian tubes where, with the right conditions, one sperm undergoes fertilization.

Each sperm has a limited lifespan and the clock starts ticking from the time they leave a man’s body.

Lifespan can vary depending on the location within the female reproductive system. If sperm cannot get past the vagina, they may only survive for a few hours due to the vaginal acidity. But if peak-fertile cervical mucus is present, the sperm are protected from the acidic environment and can safely pass through the vagina without damage.

Once they reach the uterus and fallopian tube, sperm can live for a total of up to 5 days due to the favorable environment.

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Written by Kelly Park | Contributor

Kelly Park

Kelly Park is the founder and editor-in-chief of FertilitySmarts. She is passionate about fertility education and shining light on the many ways people can become parents. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Education degree in Educational Policy from the University of Alberta. She is a firm believer in the FertilitySmarts mission to help people get smart about their fertility.

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