How long does sperm actually live for?
Many people know surprisingly little about sperm, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise considering they are invisible to the naked eye. One of the most common question we hear about sperm is: “how long does sperm live?”
This question has two different answers, depending on if you’re talking about how long sperm lives inside the man’s testicles – or how long sperm can live outside of the body. On a dry surface, such as clothing or bedding, sperm are dead by the time the semen has dried. In water, such as a warm bath or hot tub, they’ll likely live longer because they thrive in warm, wet places.
Inside the man’s body, sperm can live for several months. It is generally known that most men produce millions of new sperm every day. However, you might not know that these new sperm take about 2 ½ to 3 months to fully mature. You also might not realize that when sperm are initially formed within the testicles, they lack the ability to swim forward or fertilize an egg until they make their way through the reproductive tract.
Overall, the sperm “regeneration cycle” takes about 74 days.
How long does sperm live inside a woman?
When sperm are inside a woman’s body, they generally live for about 5 days. In some cases, sperm can live inside a woman’s body for up to 7 days. If you’re a man and you have sex even a few days before your partner ovulates – there’s chance she may get pregnant.
The fluid in a woman’s reproductive tract has all of the nutrients that sperm need for their survival during that time.
Once inside the female reproductive tract, the sperm cells must swim through the cervix and into the uterus to reach the Fallopian tubes and female egg. It is a very long journey for sperm cells to make and very few survive.
How long does sperm live inside you to get pregnant?
About 7 Days. Seeing as how sperm can live up to a week inside a woman, you can get pregnant for about 7 days after intercourse. For pregnancy to happen, the egg must be fertilized by a sperm within this time. Sperm can live for up to 7 days inside a woman’s body. So if you’ve had sex in the days before ovulation, the sperm will have had time to travel up the Fallopian tubes to “wait” for the egg to be released.
It takes just one sperm to fertilize a woman’s egg. Keep in mind, though, for each sperm that reaches the egg, there are millions that don’t.
On average, each time a man ejaculates he releases nearly 100 million sperm. Why are so many sperm released if it takes only one to make a baby? The mortality rate of sperm is extraordinarily high – and only a select few will ever survive the arduous journey to have a chance to fertilize the egg.
To meet the waiting egg, semen must travel from the vagina to the Fallopian tubes, a tough journey that few sperm survive. Experts believe this process may be nature’s way of allowing only the healthiest sperm to fertilize the egg, to provide the best chances of having a healthy baby.
How long does sperm last in a hot tub?
For some strange reason, we get quite a few e-mails wondering how long sperm lives in a hot tub. We’re not sure why this is – but it seems like at least a few guys are getting busy in the comfort of their hot tubs!
In the hot tub, sperm cells can not live for very long at all. In most cases, sperm cannot survive for longer than a few seconds after being exposed to the chemicals and hot water. Pregnancy from someone ejaculating into a hot tub and then entering the vagina, would be very rare and likely not even possible.
In a warm bath that was not too hot, sperm cells could likely survive for a few minutes. However, it is very unlikely that sperm would be able to find their way through the tub water and into the vagina of a female. Pregnancy occurring in this manner would also be very difficult, if not impossible.
However, if a couple were having intercourse in the water, pregnancy would be just as likely because the sperm would enter directly into the female reproductive tract. The outside temperature and physical environment would not have any impact on sperm survival.
You may have heard that in some cases, a woman can get pregnant when no vaginal penetration has occurred. This is in fact true – and pregnancy can happen even if you’ve never had intercourse. This is however, extremely rare – and would only happen if the man and woman’s genitals were exposed, and the man ejaculated in the immediate area of the vagina. While not likely – it is technically possible for some of the semen to seep into the vagina and enter the woman’s body. For this reason, the male should avoid ejaculating near the woman’s vagina, as there is a remote chance that pregnancy could occur.
How can you make your sperm healthier?
Many men aren’t sure if there is anything you can do to improve the health of your sperm. In fact, there are many steps men can take to improve their sperm health. Many of the things you can do to improve your overall health will also make your sperm healthier as well.
5 Tips for Healthier Sperm
- Don’t smoke or use illicit drugs (especially anabolic steroids)
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Avoid contact with toxins like pesticides or heavy metals
- Keep your scrotum cool – avoid hot baths, briefs, and tight pants
- Use a daily semen/sperm boosting supplement
Healthy sperm is a cornerstone of male fertility and vital for impregnating your partner if you’re trying to conceive. Taking steps to improve your sperm health will have several spin-off benefits to both your sexual function and your overall health.
Keep in mind that sperm take about 2-3 months to reach maturity. This means that the things you do to improve your health may not be fully reflected in your sperm for a couple of months or more. For example, once a lifestyle change has been made—such as quitting smoking—it takes about 2 ½ to 3 months for those healthier sperm to appear in the ejaculate.
Improving your sperm health and male fertility is not a complex situation. Generally, a “heart-healthy” lifestyle is also a “sperm-friendly” lifestyle: eating a good diet, exercising regularly and moderately to maintain a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco use, and consuming alcohol and caffeine in moderation are wise choices.
We hope this article answers your questions about sperm and how long they can live under various circumstances. If you have more questions regarding semen or sperm just let us know as we’re always on the lookout for new sperm topics to write about!