There are some questions in life which we ponder on a daily basis: What is life’s meaning?
What am I meant to do? Who am I meant to be?
And then there are those which are usually pretty situational like, “How long does sperm live?”
In this post we will be answering that question and a load of other run-off questions related to the mortality of sperm below.
Table Of Contents
Swim, Sperm, Swim!
The environment inside of our vaginas is incredibly hostile.
In fact, some would argue that our vaginas hate sperm because the vaginal vault will make every attempt to take these foreign invaders out before they give us a “case of the babies”.
image source: Oh My Freaking Stars
With that said, sperm can be incredibly mobile and these little swimmers live a whole ‘lot longer than a lot of women think.
If you think barebacking season (a.k.a. having sex during your period) is okay, you may want to hustle up and listen to this.
Sperm thrive in warm and wet environments, which means your vagina is like a tropical vacation for a sperm before it will likely meet its inevitable demise.
Sperm which is on a dry surface will be dead by the time the semen has dried.
Here is what women and their male partners really need to know: sperm lives on.
It lives longer than you expect.
In the most ideal conditions, sperm can live up to five days.
In the least ideal conditions (a.k.a. when your body is shooting lasers at them and taking them down, Star Wars style) they may live for up to three.
[Read more: How Far Along Am I]
It Only Takes One
According to the World Health Organization, the average ejaculation is of close to 100 million sperm.
Why so many, you ask?
Why, because the female body is designed to destroy them.
Sperm needs to go through an arduous during from the vagina to the fallopian tubes then up to the egg.
Your body is designed to “pew-pew” those suckers and render them to chromosomal dust.
The egg itself is layered in thick stuff that makes the fertilization process difficult, but the strongest sperm shall prevail!
That sucker will inject itself into your egg, and boom!
What Can Affect The Lifespan Of A Sperm?
How long that little swimmer can swim (if he/she can even swim at all) is determined by a variety of factors.
- Sperm Enjoy Temperate Conditions. Ever wonder why the testicles holding the sperm are suspended from the male body? The male body is designed to have these dangling “balls” so that the sperm inside of them don’t overheat. But don’t go putting your man’s testicles in ice cold water, either. Sperm like a nice, even temperatures.
- Make It Moist. Like we said above, sperm loves a moist environment. But during most of the month when a “No Entry” sign is hanging over your cervix, the acidic environment of the vagina will kill those sperms within a matter of hours.
- Chromosome Type. Here’s an interesting one. Did you know that the Y chromosome (sperm that will create a boy) can swim faster than the X chromosome (sperm that will create a girl?). This doesn’t mean that you have an increased chance of having a boy, however. The Y chromosome is not as well equipped to deal with the acidic environment of our vaginas. On ovulation day, our vaginas tend to be less acidic, so the Y chromosome will have an easier time making it to the egg (thus your chances of having a baby boy may be enhanced). After that time, however, the Y chromosome may have a better chance of making the journey to your egg.
Video by: IntermountainMoms
So About That Period And Barebacking Thing…
Many women believe that they are able to grant their husbands, partners, a free pass when they are on their period.
But as we just learned above, sperm lives far longer inside the female body than we realize.
Depending on your own biological make-up and age, the chance of pregnancy may be greater than you think.
So you may want to consider this next time you decide to set the rubber aside.
It is possible to have sex on your period and for the sperm to be alive when you ovulate.
image source: Ovulation Calendar
The Skivvy On Sperm
Moist and temperate is the ideal environment for sperm. Anything out that will significantly shorten its lifespan.
- Sperm typically lives for three to five days
- If you do want to get pregnant, continue what you’re doing through your period (you may get lucky!)
- If you don’t want to get pregnant, continue practicing safe sex (sperm are far more resilient than we know)
Have an out-of-the-norm pregnancy story or a question about sperm? We want to hear from you! Comment below!