How long can sperm survive in a woman after sex? And how long can sperm survive outside the body of a woman?
These two questions above happen to be among the most commonly asked questions with regard to sperm.
If you have ever wanted to know the answers to these questions, then you are in luck because in this article we are going to shed light on how long sperm can survive both inside a woman’s body and outside her body.
Without any further ado, let us go straight and look at the answers to these pressing questions.
How long can sperm survive in a woman?
The short answer to this question is at least five days. This simply means that when a man ejaculates into a woman’s vagina when having sex with her, the sperm can remain alive inside her vagina for at least five days.
It’s worth noting that during this period, fertilization can happen. Ladies and gentlemen, what this statement simply means is that if a man has unprotected sex with a woman and goes ahead to ejaculate (release his sperm) inside her vagina, the sperm can stay alive in the woman’s body for as long as five days and make her pregnant. This is the reason why when a woman has unprotected sex with a male partner days before she ovulates, she can still get pregnant.
Simply put, a woman can get pregnant from five-day old sperm inside her body. All that needs to happen for pregnancy to occur is for the sperm to travel from the woman’s vagina all the way to her fallopian tubes to meet a waiting egg. The moment the sperm comes into contact with the waiting egg, fertilization can easily take place and the woman will get pregnant.
What about outside a woman’s body? How long do sperm live outside a woman’s body?
Outside a woman’s reproductive tract, depending on where the sperm are, they can survive for between a few minutes to several years.
If the sperm fall on a dry object such as cloth, wood, floor, etc, the sperm will die the moment they become dry. On the other hand, if the sperm are in a wet, warm environment, they can live for a couple of hours before eventually dying. For example, if a man ejaculates into a warm bath, the sperm can survive in the water for a substantial amount of time. According to experts, the reason sperm released in a tub of warm water can survive for a longer period of time than when released on a dry object is because of the fact that in order to survive, sperm need an environment that is warm and wet. This is the reason why they can survive for about five days in a woman’s reproductive tract which is always warm and wet.
Based on the fact that sperm can survive for substantial amount of time in warm, wet environments such as in a tub of warm water, let us take a moment to imagine the scenario below:
A woman and her male partner are both bathing naked in a tub of warm water, and her male partner ejaculates into the water. What happens in this situation? Since the sperm can survive for a long period of time in the warm water, does this mean that the sperm will be capable of moving into the woman’s vagina and impregnating her?
According to scientists, while this is unlikely, it is possible. There is a slim chance the sperm can survive in the warm water and swim into the woman’s reproductive tract and impregnate her.
Sperm can also survive for several years if they are kept in frozen vials or straws. Sometimes frozen sperm can be stored for even decades. For example, in the United Kingdom, there was a case of a baby conceived by sperm that was kept frozen for 21 years. This just goes to show you how long sperm can survive in a frozen state.