fertility basics

Know how long does sperm live - Facts about Sperm Life

  • 4.7 (6 Votes)

Sperm life is a crucial factor in achieving successful pregnancy or even avoiding pregnancy. If you are wondering that for how long does sperm live in the reproductive tract of female partner, then its for 5 days. Couples need to learn about sperm life when they plan for pregnancy.

All of us must have some questions regarding sperm. At least once in a while we must have thought about the semen, its role and how a fluid is responsible for pregnancy. Once men attain puberty, the body starts producing millions of sperms daily. And for maintaining its production, the reproductive system of male depends upon correct hormone levels. Once the semen is exposed to air or ejaculated then it may die quickly.

Sperm, which is ejaculated within woman's uterus, can lasts for up to 5 days and that is the reason why there is a possibility of pregnancy during menstruation. The sperm may live and can fertilize the eggs if ovulate after your periods.

Although there is a contradictory statement that it doesn't live or survive for even five days even in fertile cervical fluid. For maximizing the conception chances, keep indulging in sex daily or at least every 1-2 day and till the ovulation is confirmed.

How long does sperm live

During ovulation, indulging into intercourse increases the chances of pregnancy.

How long does sperm live?

Depending upon the certain circumstances and environment, semen can survive from several minutes to several days. The spermatozoa survival depends on the conditions within which they are exposed:

1- If it is exposed to air, spills on clothes, bed linens or on toilet seats then sperm can dry out quickly and then die i.e. within minutes after ejaculating.

2- It may remain alive for several hours if it is collected in a sterile container at body temperature but within 60 minutes after ejaculation sperm's fertilizing ability drops.

3- The semen will die within 20-30 minutes after ejaculation if it is deposited inside the vagina.

4- Studies have shown that spermatozoa survive longer if it moves from vagina into the uterus. It means it can live possibly up to five days after intercourse. So, there are some chances for these men to survive long inside the uterus (especially in cervical mucus or fallopian tubes).

5- The sperm can live up to seven days if there are favorable laboratory conditions and in nutrient medium.

6- If sperm is stored in a closed and clean container at body temperature then can survive for 4 to 6 hours or maybe more.

7- It can survive for years if frozen at extremely low temperatures (not in refrigerator).

8- It can stay alive for several hours in vagina.

9- Some sperm die within 4 to 5 days but most of them die within 24 to 48 hours in cervix.

10- Some of the semen can live up to several days in the fallopian tubes.

Longest sperm survival - In cervical fluid

The longest the sperm can live is up to five days within a fertile (egg white) cervical fluid. The chances of pregnancy are more when intercourse took place within the five days before ovulation or during the day of ovulation.

Do sperms die

However, it doesn't live for five days even in the fertile cervical fluid typically.

But within strict laboratory conditions and in nutrient conditions when it is processed and maintained then it can remain alive for seven days. Semen can live up to several hours if collected in a sterile container but fertilizing capability of sperm drops after 60 minutes.

Sperm Motility & Pregnancy

For getting pregnant, female's cervical mucus should be favorable which is generally during ovulation. Mucus is an egg's white and consistently flows before menstruation. The journey can become difficult if cervical mucus is dry and thick.

What is sperm motility?

Well, the term implies the ability of sperm to swim the right manner. When we talk about getting pregnant, the term 'motility' might matter equally to sperm count. Pregnancy is impossible if it couldn't make its way to the egg.


Hope in this article, you might have got all the information about sperm, how long sperm can survive in every condition, longest sperm survival in cervical fluid along with sperm motility role in pregnancy. Follow Elawoman blog to get regular updates on fertility health and treatments.

Dr. Devika Chopra

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, Infertility Evaluation / Treatment Dr. Devika Chopra

Dr. Devika Chopra is a leading Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and IVF Expert in Tardeo, Mumbai. She provides services such as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gynae Problems, Maternal Care/ Checkup and Infertility Evaluation/Treatment. Dr. Devika Chopra practices at Hope Clinic in Forjett Street, Mumbai. She holds an experience of almost a decade. She completed MBBS from Grant Medical College, Mumbai in 2002. Thereafter, she pursued DNB in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from NBE in 2009. She continued her studies further and did MSc from Oxford University, U.K. in 2012. For Contact details of Dr. Devika Chopra visit at elawoman.com



Diwakar Jha

Treatment like IUD, IVF require semen freezing for successful infertility treatment.

Oct. 10, 2018, 6:23 a.m. 4.5


Sujata Tanwar

Semen freezing is highly opted to increase the lifespan of sperm. Many fertility clinics provide these facilities too.

Aug. 16, 2018, 9:44 a.m. 5.0


Manjeet Kaur

How sperm dies within an hour outside in air but lives 2-3 days in the vagina? Why it doesn't dry out in the vagina?

Aug. 15, 2018, 11:41 a.m. 4.5


Naina Suri

I did not that sperms live so ling inside female body.

May 31, 2018, 4:26 p.m. 5.0


Sandeep Singh Rajpoot

It was interesting to know about the life of sperm. Thanks for sharing!

March 14, 2018, 10:37 a.m. 4.5


B. I.Fozdar

Feb. 17, 2018, 5:55 a.m. 4.5

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