Sperm…How long do those guys live?

Hi Shawna,

How long does it take before sperm dies?  Does pre-ejaculated sperm have the same life span?  Does it die once it hits the air or does it take a while to die?

-Anonymous

Hi,

Thanks for asking!

The life span of sperm once a male has ejaculated (cum) can vary.  In the vaginal canal (where a tampon would go or where a penis would go during vaginal sex),  sperm can only live a few hours.  Once inside the fallopian tubes (where sperm and egg meet to create a pregnancy),  they have a life span of about 5 days.  Sperm not ejaculated inside a woman’s body (maybe on the sheets or something) can live for up to an hour though usually die within minutes.  The sperm in pre-ejaculatory fluid has a similar life span.

Hope you have a wonderful day!  Keep the questions coming!

In happiness & health,

-Shawna

Reviewed by Grace Shih, MD

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