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

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Q:

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

A:

The lifespan of a 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 uterus and fallopian tube 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. In most cases, only one lucky sperm undergoes fertilization.

Each sperm has a limited lifespan and therefore the clock starts ticking from the time the sperm 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 up to 5 days due to the favorable environment.


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