How long Male Sperm live and Sperm FAQ

How long do sperm live

How long Male Sperm live and Sperm FAQ

How long do sperm live?

The answer depends on a number of factors, the most important of which is where the sperm are located. 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, sperm will likely live longer because they thrive in warm, wet environments; however, the chances sperm in a tub of water will find their way inside a female bather and cause her to become pregnant are extremely low. How long Male Sperm live and Sperm FAQ 

Inside a woman’s body, sperm can live for up to five days depending on the conditions. If you have unprotected sex even a few days before your partner ovulates, there is a chance of achieving a pregnancy.

A journey for sperm survivor to the Egg:

The Path to the Egg. The sperm’s passage to the egg is a difficult journey.

  • Usually about 100 – 300 million sperm are delivered into the ejaculate at any given time. Even under normal conditions only about 15% of these millions of sperm are strong enough to fertilize an egg.
  • After the stress of ejaculation, only about 400 sperm survive the orgasm to continue the journey.
  • Out of this number, only about 40 sperm survive the challenges posed by the semen and the environment of the vagina to reach the vicinity of the egg. Normally, the cervical mucus forms an impenetrable barrier to sperm. However, when a woman ovulates (releases her egg, the oocyte), the mucous lining thins to allow sperm penetration.
  • Sperm that manage to reach the mucus lining in the woman’s cervix (the lower part of her uterus) must survive about four more days to reach the woman’s Fallopian tubes. (Here, the egg is positioned for fertilization for only 12 hours each month.)
  • The few remaining sperm that penetrate the cervical mucus and are able to reach the Fallopian tubes become capacitated.
  • Capacitation is a one-time explosion of energy that completes the sperm’s journey. It boosts the motion of the sperm and triggers the actions of the acrosome, a membrane that covers the head of the sperm and resembles a warhead. The acrosome is dissolved, and enzymes contained within it are released to allow the sperm to drill a hole through the tough outer coating of the egg.
  • In the end, only one sperm gets through to fertilize the egg.

How many sperm do you need to achieve a pregnancy?

It takes just one sperm to fertilize an egg and achieve a pregnancy, but for each sperm that reaches and fertilizes an egg, there are millions that don’t. The average ejaculation contains close to 100 million sperm; according to the World Health Organization, men who have fewer than 20 million sperm per milliliter of semen may be at risk for having infertility issues. How long Male Sperm live and Sperm FAQ 

Why are so many sperm released if it takes only one to make a baby? To meet the waiting egg, the semen must travel from the vagina to the Fallopian tubes, an arduous journey that few sperm survive. For those that complete the trip, penetration of the egg is far from a sure thing. The egg is covered by a thick layer that makes fertilization difficult. Experts believe this process may be nature’s way of allowing only the healthiest sperm to fertilize the egg, thereby providing the best chances to produce a healthy baby. How long Male Sperm live and Sperm FAQ 

Sperm FAQ

How long do sperm live?

How many sperm do you need to achieve a pregnancy?
Is there anything you can do to improve the health of your sperm?

What does a semen analysis tell?

Do men stop making sperm when they are older?

Is there anything you can do to improve the health of your sperm?

Many of the things you do to keep yourself healthy can also improve the health of your sperm. These include:

  • Avoiding cigarettes and illicit drugs, especially anabolic steroids
  • Avoiding exposure to toxins such as pesticides and heavy metals
  • Limiting alcohol intake.
  • Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Keeping your scrotum cool, because heat slows sperm production; avoid hot baths and hot tubs, wear boxers instead of briefs, and avoid pants that are tight or restrictive.

What does a semen analysis tell?

Semen analysis is a test that can help health care providers determine the cause of infertility. Performed on semen ejaculated into a cup, the test provides information about sperm and semen. Here are some of the things the doctor looks for:

Amount and thickness of semen. The typical ejaculate is 2-6 milliliters (mL) of semen, or around a 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon. Less semen than that may not contain enough sperm to achieve a pregnancy. More semen than that could dilute the concentration of sperm. Semen should be thick to start with and become thinner 10 to 15 minutes after ejaculation. Semen that stays thick may make it difficult for sperm to move.

Sperm concentration. Also called sperm density, this is the number of sperm in millions per milliliter (mL) of semen. Twenty million or more sperm per mL is considered normal.

Sperm motility. This is the percentage of sperm in a sample that are moving as well as an assessment of their movement. One hour after ejaculation, at least 50% of sperm should be moving forward in a straight line.

Morphology. This is an analysis of the sperm size, shape, and appearance. The test analyzes 200 sperm, noting any defects. How long Male Sperm live and Sperm FAQ 

Semen analysis is also used to check for the presence of sperm following vasectomy.

Do men stop making sperm when they are older?

Unlike women, whose fertility ends at menopause, men can continue to be fertile throughout life. Although sperm production decreases with age, men continue to produce sperm, and even elderly men have fathered children.


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