How long sperm lives—inside the human body or on other surfaces—is an ext than simply a “fun fact.” It deserve to actually affect your capability to conceive. Knowing that sperm live for 3–5 work in the female reproductive system, because that example, means you can have sex several days before your companion ovulates and also still result in a pregnancy.

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Let’s explore how lengthy sperm can live in different scenarios, and also bust a few myths along the way.

How long does sperm last inside the mrs reproductive tract?

One widely thought myth is that sperm just survives because that a very short time. Studies show that the average length of time the sperm live, once ejaculated or placed into the mrs reproductive system, is roughly three days. This relies on where she is in she menstrual cycle, however—with just the right timing, more powerful sperm could last up to 5 days.

A lot depends on the consistency of cervical mucus. During ovulation, changes in hormones change the ingredient of cervical mucus, supplying a protective impact that keeps sperm from dry out together quickly. Instead of its properties opaque texture, the mucus thins, providing just the appropriate hosting setting to defend sperm without avoiding movement.

The cervix additionally has another method for hold on to sperm around the time that ovulation: cervical “crypts,” small channels off the cervical canal. This crypts deserve to actually offer as momentary storage spaces for sperm, i beg your pardon is climate released end time, raising the possibilities of fertilization.

What this way is the the “fertile window” is actually as much as 5 days prior to a mrs ovulates. That also method that you can have sex one day, and also not fertilize the egg until days later—and in fact, this is the situation with many pregnancies (as it’s rarely to pinpoint the exact moment the ovulation). This is vital to know whether you’re trying to conceive, or do the efforts to protect against pregnancy.

How long does sperm live elsewhere?

Everyone to know the city myth: two teens make the end in a warm tub, and also one ejaculates. The sperm swim v the water right into the rather vagina, and surprise! Pregnancy, even though castle didn’t have actually sex.

Luckily, this no reality. Sperm space highly unlikely to:

swim that far. Sperm room not Olympic swimmers. The mrs reproductive mechanism actually helps coax sperm along; without this assist, they’re not going far.

So, in every likelihood, sperm ejaculated right into a hot tub or bath would not live long enough to land within a vagina—they’d survive only a few minutes.

Even in a room-temperature or body-temperature environment, sperm space unlikely come survive an ext than one hour or so external the body. Among the most far-ranging factors affect sperm survival is humidity. Sperm are brought in semen, a liquid that nourishes and buffers them; once semen has actually evaporated, yes nothing to safeguard sperm. Sperm the land ~ above a dry surface would be happy to last an ext than one hour.


Wait, then exactly how does mail-in sperm testing work?

Mail-in sperm experimentation kits favor Legacy’s usage a move media, an ingredient that’s clinically proven to safeguard sperm throughout overnight shipping. Additionally, ours kits room insulated and extensively tested to for sure samples space not susceptible to suddenly temperature transforms in transit. These measures prolong the lifespan of sperm external the human body to at the very least 48 hours, without substantially affecting the health and wellness of sperm.

Learn much more about the science of at-home sperm testing.

How lengthy does sperm last in the testicles?

Spermatogenesis, or the procedure of creating sperm, takes about 72 days, and also it’s happening repetitively in the testicles. Once they’re mature, sperm live in “storage” in the testicles—specifically, in the cauda epididymis—for as long as a few weeks. ~ that, they’re reabsorbed right into the body.

But while in storage, sperm top quality is decreasing reasonably rapidly. Studies show that DNA fragmentation and mitochondrial damage increase ~ 5 days of abstinence, and also motility decreases also after about 7 days.


That’s why, return sperm counts boost a day or so after ejaculation, an extended period of abstinence isn’t valuable for sperm. If you’re trying to conceive, it’s best to have sex every 1–2 days throughout your partner’s productive window.

How long deserve to sperm last if you frozen it?

Freezing her sperm protects its quality, whether you’re freezing in the quick term or searching for long-term storage. (We’re not talking about sticking your sperm in your household freezer—medical cryopreservation is done through liquid nitrogen at a temperature the -196ºC.)

A 2019 examine examined the long-term impact of freezing on human being sperm and also pregnancy outcomes, looking at over 119,000 donor sperm samples. The study uncovered that:

Cryostorage lasting up to 5 years had actually no impact on the survival rate of sperm.After 5 years, there was a tiny decrease in sperm’s survival rate (from 86% come 74% end 15 years). However, this had only a minor impact on birth rates as soon as this sperm to be actually offered in insemination. Live birth rates for the team that stored for much less than 5 years was 82%; because that the team that stored for 6–15 years, the LBR to be 80%.

The researchers concluded the “long-term cryostorage the semen in a human being sperm financial institution does not impact clinical outcomes.” So, we can safely to speak that, as soon as frozen, sperm can last indefinitely.

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Choosing to preserve your sperm

If you’re reasoning of freezing your sperm, using an industry-leading cryo storage facility can administer the ideal outcomes whenever you decide to end up being a parent. If you freeze through Legacy, her samples space stored at several various facilities to mitigate any type of location risks and also monitored 24/7. This is one action you can trust to aid keep her sperm safe and also protect your chances of beginning a family.