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How long does it take for the sperm to reach egg?

  • 4.8 (7 Votes)

The fastest and healthiest sperm reaches the egg within a time period of half an hour. The slowest sperm reaches within 12 hours after the release into the womans body. The time period varies on different factors such as sperm health and sperm motility. High sperm motility ensures higher chances of egg fertilization.

Conceiving a baby is much difficult than it is thought to be in real life. At times, it becomes challenging for the sperms to reach the egg and fertilize it successfully for the formation of an embryo. You must be thinking that how much time does ittake for the sperms to actually reach the eggand fertilize it. This timing is crucial for conceiving a baby. In reality, the sperms take around 30 minutes to 12 hours to reach an egg in the woman and lead to the formation of an embryo. So, if you are eager to know regarding the entire process of sperm reaching the egg and fertilizing it, then this blog is created for you. You should know that there are millions of sperms in a single ejaculate. Out of those million sperms, only few sperms make their way to the egg. Now, out of the sperms, which reach the egg, only one sperm fertilizes the egg. So, there is one egg and millions of sperms are racing to reach and fertilize it. But, only the best one survives and fertilizes the egg. Here, you will find the detailed steps of egg fertilization with sperm in the fallopian tubealong with the useful ways in which you can boost the chances of conception.

How much time does it take for the sperm to reach an egg?

There are various factors, which determine the success of the fertilization of egg and sperm. Sperm count is an essential factor for increasing the chances of fertilizing an egg. It is important to note that normal sperm count for a man varies form 40 million to 160 million. This number tells that there is massive quantity of sperms present in the body of a healthy man.

You will be surprised to know that sperms with the fastest speed can swim to eggs within half an hour of the release from the male partner. The sperms are alive for a time period of 48-72 hours in the woman’s body before they die. Among millions of sperms released into the woman’s body, only hundreds of them will survive and reach the eggs in the woman’s body. This is due to the reason that only hundreds of sperms are able to cross these barriers successfully and reach near to the eggs. One sperm of the hundreds with the highest speed fertilizes the egg and leads to the formation of zygote. This zygote then turns into an embryo which progresses into a fetus, thus taking birth in the form of a baby.

What is the process of conception?

The process of conception is a sensitive procedure, which involves a series of steps for successful pregnancy. Here are the steps, which are involved, in this valuable procedure of conceiving a baby.

1. Ovulation

This is the first step in the procedure of conception. In this step, one of the ovaries of female partner releases a mature egg. This mature egg is ready to be fertilized by sperms. The ovulation step occurs two weeks after first day of the woman’s menstrual cycle.

Are you planning to record your ovulation cycle and days? Then check out the introduction and Working of Ovulation predictor kits.

2. In the Fallopian Tube

The egg then travel into the fallopian tube from the ovaries. It remain in this tube till sperm fertilize them. If the eggs are not fertilized, then they come out of woman’s body at the time of menstrual cycle.

3. Sperm’s travel

Millions of sperms are released in the ejaculate of men. These sperms compete amongst each other to reach the egg in the woman. Only the fastest sperms are successful in reaching the egg and fertilize it on time. The speed of the sperms is appreciable. The success of the pregnancy highly depends on the speed of sperms as well as the health status of sperms.

Sperm's travel

4. Penetration of sperm into egg

This is one of the crucial steps for ensuring that successful conception takes place in the female partner. The sperm fuses with the plasma membrane of egg and then enters into the egg. At this stage, the gender of the baby is determined.

5. Division of cells and the formation of embryo

During this stage, the fertilized egg gets divided into cells. These cells or embryo leaves the fallopian tubes and enter into the uterus. If the embryo does not progress into the uterus, then this might result into ectopic pregnancy. The embryo should reach the uterus of the female partner. So, the proper monitoring is done at the time of fertility treatments to prevent ectopic pregnancies as much as possible.

6. Implantation

This is a vital step of conception. Here, the fertilized egg implants onto the walls of uterus. At this stage, the conceptus present in the uterus is known as Blastocyst. Blastocyst is one of the stages of maturation of fertilized egg. After the fifth day of fertilization, blastocyst is formed and implanted into the uterus.


7. Noting of pregnancy hormones

Pregnancy hormones are monitored before and during pregnancy. Human chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) hormone is found positive in the body of pregnant woman. The levels of hormones are monitored from time to time to determine pregnancy. Pregnancy test at the gynecologist’s clinic or hospital is the best way to confirm pregnancy.

8. Fetal development

Fetal development is the final step, which takes place over the next months till the birth of the baby. The heartbeat of the embryo begins along with the development of brain and spinal cord. During the 8th week of pregnancy, the embryo develops into a fetus. This fetus then develops into a baby till the nine months of pregnancy.

Also read about Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring or FHR. It is a way in which heart beat of the baby is constantly monitored in the womb to ensure there are no complications in the pregnancy.

These are the basic steps of conception. If you want to know the ways to improve the chances of conception and have a successful pregnancy, then you can refer the following tips and tricks for increased probability of conception.

Quit smoking

All of us know that smoking is injurious. Now, you need to also know that smoking is injurious to your reproductive health and abilities as well. So, it is always advised that you do not smoke on a regular basis and eventually quit it if you want to conceive successfully.

Quit smoking

Weight control

Increased BMI (Body Mass Index) can lower the chances of conceiving a baby. You need to start taking small measures, one at a time to lose unwanted weight eventually.You can join exercise groups or create your own exercise schedule to shed your extra kilos.  You can also follow diet plan for weight loss.

Increase intimate frequencies

Many of the couples feel that lesser number of intercourse frequencies leads to improved chances of pregnancy. But the opposite is true. So, the more intimacy acts you have on a regular basis, the more are the chances of getting pregnant.

Keep a check on beverages

Alcohols and excessive caffeine leads to reduced probability of successful conception. You need to make sure that you get rid of bad habits such as consumption of alcohol and caffeine drinks if you are trying to get pregnant. You need to be further careful if you are already pregnant.

Thus, sperm takes around 30 minutes to 12 hours to reach an egg and fertilize it. Get a complete guide to Sperm Facts including optimal sperm count, how long can sperm live and ways to improve sperm health. You should also remember that improper sleep pattern can impactsperm count and male fertility.

Dr. Chitwan Dubey

About The Author

Obstetrician, Gynecologist Dr. Chitwan Dubey

Dr. Chitwan Dubey is a leading Obstetrician and IUI Expert currently working at SevenHills Hospital in Andheri, East Mumbai. She has been practicing in the same field for over a decade and her areas of expertise are Endometriosis, Ectopic Pregnancies, Fibroids, Total Lap Hysterectomies, and Fertility Enhancing Diagnostic etc. She completed MBBS from Rant's Medical College in 2004 followed by MS in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Mumbai University in 2006. Dr. Chitwan Dubey is an honoured member of Indian Medical Association (IMA). For contact details of Dr. Chitwan Dubey visit


  1. What is a normal sperm count for pregnancy? Sperm count, Elawoman - 2017
  2. Sign and symptoms of ovulation ovulation, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Menstrual cycle and fertility menstrual cycle, Elawoman - 2017
  4. Introduction and working of ovulation predictor kits Working of Ovulation predictor kits, Elawoman - 2017
  5. Blocked fallopian tubes causes and treatment fallopian tube, Elawoman - 2017
  6. What are the functions of uterus? uterus, Elawoman - 2017
  7. Embryo development stages Blastocyst, Elawoman - 2017
  8. When to take pregnancy test? Pregnancy test, Elawoman - 2018
  9. What is fetal heart rate monitoring (fhr)? Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring, Elawoman - 2018
  10. Proven weight loss tips weight loss, Elawoman - 2018



Kripa Vandari

I am not getting pregnant, where does the problem lie?

Oct. 12, 2018, 6:50 p.m. 5.0


Manoj Dheer

The time taken by sperm to reach up to egg is 2-3 days. Having oral birth control pills like i-pills in this duration can stop unwanted pregnancy.

Sept. 30, 2018, 5:47 p.m. 4.5


Prabhu Nallapa

Getting pregnant seems to be a very easy task, but I never thought it includes so many things as given in the article. Thanks for being so elaborative and making readers understand it easily.

Sept. 7, 2018, 8:42 p.m. 5.0


Mamta Rajput

Sperm is unable to reach up to the egg if fallopian tube has a blockage. This blockage can be a result of endometriosis that is an unwanted growth of tissues. You can treat this by surgery.

July 12, 2018, 9:38 p.m. 4.5


Nikhil Sisodia

This is incredible! How can these small gametes such as sperms and eggs find their way in the female body. No words to express God's power.

June 2, 2018, 7:19 p.m. 5.0


Priyadharshini Shreeram

This is something I was looking for since last few days. It is indeed an informative article.

May 20, 2018, 6:02 p.m. 4.5


Pashupati Dev

I used to think lower intimacy increase pregnancy chances, but I read a completely different thing in this article. I got my doubts clear. Thanks for sharing!

May 18, 2018, 2:34 p.m. 5.0

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