Sperm are small microscopic reproductive cells that closely resemble a tadpole in shape. These are the male fertility cells and are produced in the testicles of a mature male. The sperm contain 23 chromosomes, half of that required to create a new life. The other half are contained in the female reproductive cells, better known as the egg. Sperm are released via to male penis through a process called ejaculation. Once the sperm is ejaculated it either meets up with a female egg and produces new life or it dies. Have you ever wondered how long sperm can live? Read this article to learn more.
How long can sperm survive?
It takes the sperm two to two and half months to mature in the male testicles before it is able to perform its function. Sperm will only live a few hours in the female vagina. This is due to the acidic nature of vaginal secretions. If the sperm enter the vagina during the woman’s fertile period they may survive longer due to the vaginal fluid being less acidic. If the sperm makes it into the correct environment, such as the female cervix and uterus, it is able to live for up to five days. If the sperm is able to make it through the uterus and up into the Fallopian tubes it may live as long as seven days. Though generally these sperm will only live three to four days even within the fallopian tubes. However, even under prime conditions the majority of sperm will die within one to two days of being ejaculated.
Survival outside the body
Sperm that ejaculated outside the body and exposed to air usually only live a number of minutes, but some can survive up to an hour. The average length of time a sperm lives outside the body is 20 minutes. The more exposure the sperm has to air and other environmental factors, such as heat, the shorter its life span will be.