Frequently Asked QuestionsGeneral Sexual Health Problemsartificial-insemination-collection-of-semen-by-man-at-hospital

Many of my patients ask me this question, “How long does sperms live inside of female’s body, does sperms live in the seminal fluids after masturbation, if yes, how long etc.”. I thought of writing this article to answer the frequently asked questions asked by my patients and followers on our social channels.

How long does sperm live inside female’s body?

The sperms once released into the vagina of a woman can survive from 5 to a maximum of 7 days. This is in normal conditions, meaning, the female is healthy with all the fluids in her vagina are in normal, healthy condition. Once inside the woman’s body, the sperms tend to swim to the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg. The contractions of the uterus help the sperms in reaching the fallopian tubes from the vagina, through the cervix.

Some women may have thick mucus in the cervix and it becomes difficult for the sperms to cross the cervix and can die sooner. Another situation is, if the pH of the fluids inside the woman’s vagina is low (more acidic), the sperms can die very quickly after getting released.

artificial-insemination-collection-of-semen-by-man-at-hospital

Can my female partner get pregnant, if I ejaculate on the vagina?

Short answer is, though the odds are very small, one cannot rule out the possibility of the woman getting pregnant when ejaculated on her vagina. In some cases, the seminal fluids can enter the vagina and the sperms can swim into the vagina and reach the uterus.

Even in the cases of anal sex, when the man ejaculates on the anal region, there is an extreme rare possibility of seminal fluids entering the vagina.

Ejaculating in hot tub or bathtub – can a man still get her partner pregnant?

Similar to the above case, the odds are very tiny but not zero. If the man ejaculates in a hot tub and if the water is hot or contains chemicals or soap, it can result in the death of the sperms. In this case, even if a tiny bit of semen makes it into the vagina, pregnancy cannot occur. In case of a normal bathtub, the semen can survive for sometime in the water and in very rare situation, it can enter the vagina of the woman and get her pregnant.

In short, the chances of getting a woman pregnant when the man ejaculates in a hot tub are miniscule.

Can spermicides prevent pregnancy?

Spermicides come in different forms such as creams, gel or foam etc. Using spermicides alone is not 100% safe because only in 85% of the cases, spermicides can work effectively.  Usage of a condom along with a spermicides can provide a higher degree of protection from getting pregnant.

Withdrawn penis just before ejaculation and still wondering if the woman can get pregnant?

We understand that many couples like to go skin to skin instead of having a barrier like a male or female condom. Many men assure their women that they can withdraw right before ejaculation and can prevent pregnant. However, such withdrawal methods can’t assure 100% safety from pregnancy.  The pre-seminal fluids that leak out of the penis during the act can contain some sperms and they can enter the vagina causing pregnancy. The best and assuring method to prevent pregnancy is by using a condom. (Note – there are cases when the condom tears for various reasons and the semen still enters the woman’s body.)

What is the lifespan of frozen sperm (cryopreservation or sperm freezing)?

Medical experts believe that sperms that are frozen can remain alive forever. Usually the frozen sperms are stored at around -200 degree Celsius and all the essential activities in the sperms will cease to exist. When the doctor wants to use the frozen sperm, they are brought to the room temperature and then to the body temperature of the man.

Men who wish to become father at a later age or men who will be undergoing certain therapies like chemotherapy go for cryopreservation of sperms that can later be used in IVF, ICSI or IUI methods to get his partner pregnant.

What is sperm motility and why is it important?

Sperm motility is the ability of the sperms to swim through the seminal fluids when inside the woman’s body until they reach the egg to fertilize. Sperm motility is one of the important factors to determine if a man is fertile or not.

(As per a recent research article, sperms don’t actually “swim” to the egg but they “roll” in such a way that the ultimate displacement happens in forward direction.)

Reduced or no sperm motility makes it difficult for a man to get his female partner pregnant.

Read more on sperm motility and role of vitamin D in sperm motility.

What is semen liquefaction time?

Semen liquefaction is the time taken by the semen from the time of ejaculation into the time when the thick/viscous gel turns into liquid. Typical liquefaction time is around 20 minutes

Conclusion

The lifespan of sperms depend on the surroundings such as whether the semen is ejaculated inside the woman’s body or in a bathtub or a pool or on the floor etc. Sperms can remain alive as long as the seminal fluids don’t dry up.

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