How long does semen last

How long do sperm survive? In the body, in the air, in the condom
A question that countless people have already asked: How long do sperm cells actually survive? Here you can find out what you should definitely know about this topic and how long sperm can be fertilized under different conditions.

How long do sperm survive in a woman's body?

Indeed, when a couple is trying to conceive, it is important to know how long sperm can survive. In particular, it is important how long these have a fertilizing effect in the woman's body:

  • A distinction must first be made here between the fertile and the sterile days of women. Because depending on which cycle area the woman is currently in, the survival time of the sperm also differs. You can find out how to calculate your fertile days in a separate article.

  • On the infertile days, the pH value in the woman's vagina is acidic. As a result, the sperm cannot survive very long and eventually die. In addition, the cervix is ​​almost closed during this time and the sperm cannot penetrate the cervix.

  • On the other hand, on the fertile days, the pH value is significantly higher and the vaginal environment is designed for the survival of the sperm, so that they can survive in the woman's body for up to five days. The cervix also relaxes again and the sperm can penetrate.

  • So if you want to get pregnant, it's important to have sex with your partner in the three days before you ovulate. Because the mature egg in your fallopian tube can be fertilized up to 24 hours after ovulation.

  • It takes the sperm to mature in about one to three hours, until a single sperm cell finally penetrates the egg and fertilizes it. Scientists at the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn have discovered that they are attracted by the egg cell using the hormone progesterone.

How long do sperm survive in air and in water?

Now that you know how long the sperm will survive in the female body after ejaculation, the question arises how long they stay alive in the air and in the water:

  • Of course, if ejaculation does occur and it does not happen in the woman's vagina, the conditions for the sperm are completely different. Because on fertile days, the vaginal flora adjusts itself ideally to the potentially invading sperm.

  • If the ejaculate encounters air or skin outside the vagina, the sperm cells can only survive for a few minutes. This also applies if the seminal fluid comes into contact with bed linen, towels and the like. The fluid dries up and the sperm die.

  • It is very similar with sperm that come into contact with water. So the myth that sperm swimming around in a swimming pool can make you pregnant is not true.

  • Even individual sperm residues on the hands cannot make you pregnant if they are no longer contained in the sperm fluid, as they can no longer swim or move.

  • On the other hand, sperm that is collected in a closed container, such as a sperm donation, survives a little longer. This is because the seminal fluid cannot dry out as quickly.

Sperm in a condom - survival time and trivia

Even in a condom, the sperm are generally protected from drying out. However, there are differences that are worth knowing:

  • When the semen gets into the condom through ejaculation, the semen in the liquid is initially protected from drying out and thus from dying off. These can survive in it for a few hours.

  • If a condom breaks during sexual intercourse and the sperm get into the vagina or vagina of the woman, she can definitely become pregnant.

  • However, you should note that many condoms contain a gel that kills sperm. This naturally reduces the lifespan of the sperm cells from seconds to a few minutes. However, do not rely on the fact that you will not be able to become pregnant in an accident, despite this, this is never completely ruled out.

Can you get pregnant from pleasure drops?

When talking about the survival time and fertility of sperm, one should also take a look at the pleasure drop. Because this can also contain sperm.

  • The pre-ejaculate, colloquially also called pleasure drops, can actually make you pregnant by many opposing opinions. This was found in a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the USA in 2011. Accordingly, this substance can indeed contain sperm.

  • If the man is aroused, the drop of pleasure is excreted from his urethra. This has a cleansing effect on the urethra in order to make the sperm more viable. It also acts as a kind of natural lubricant.

  • Since the man's semen can actually be contained in the pre-ejaculate, you as a woman can already become pregnant from it if the liquid comes into contact with your vagina. The method of coitus interruptus, i.e. pulling out prematurely before ejaculation, should therefore not be practiced.

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