It is needless to mention how a baby is born. It is the combination of sperm and egg that make a baby. But, does all the sperm fertilize the egg? Or does every time when a couple has intercourse, the sperm fertilizes the egg? No. fertilization depends on several factors such as ovulation, egg and sperm quality, and all over all environment of the uterus, fallopian tube, and ovaries. It also depends on the reproductive hormones as well. In order to conceive, sperm should be able to fertilize the egg in the fallopian tube within a day after the egg is released from the ovary.
Does sperm live for that long in the female body? So, how long do sperm live inside a woman’s tube? Pregnancy is only possible as far as the sperm is alive. And a sperm is not capable to stay in there for a long time. So, how do women get pregnant? Let’s find the answers in the coming sections.
How Long Can Sperm Stay Alive In A Woman’s Body?
Normally, a sperm is only capable to live for a couple of hours in a female body. However, when the environment inside the woman is suitable, they may live as long as 5 days. But, what percent of sperm live for 5 days?
According to several studies, around 5% of sperm stick around alive for more than 4 days. Several sperm also manage to live in a woman’s body for 7 days. But what percent of sperm can live for 7 days? Well, there is only a 1% probability for sperm to survive more than 5 days. However, the average period of time a sperm can live after being inserted into the female body is 3 days. Nevertheless, it all depends on where a woman is on her menstrual cycle.
Depending on the stage in the menstrual cycle, the texture of the vaginal mucus changes. During ovulation, women’s fertility increases, and the cervical discharge during that time forms a specific structure different from its original form. While it used to be opaque, the mucus thins itself and acts like a protective layer around the sperm. By doing this, it facilitates sperm movement as well.
Although a number of sperm enter the female reproductive tract, only 1 sperm is required to fertilize the ovum. Sometimes, none of the sperm make it to the egg, and sometimes, a few manage to reach their destination. This is why it is often suggested that a couple should engage in intercourse when they are looking to conceive. During ovulation, sperm is retained in the cervical crypts to be released on time.
This is the natural mechanism that increases the chance of conception. However, these are not the only factors that contribute to fertility. Sperm health is another major factor that also affects the duration to which sperm lasts. But, is there any way to increase sperm health?
How To Increase Sperm Quality?
Sperm quality is often associated with fertility because conceiving will stay impossible until the sperm quality stays compromised. Conditions like hypospadias, cryptorchidism, and testicular cancer are common conditions that lead to decreased sperm quality. A sperm is only characterized to be of good quality when it has a vitality of around 58-92%, progressive motility of 32-75%, sperm morphology of 4-48%, and total motility of 40- 81%.
Although you need medical assistance to find the potential of your sperm to impregnate a woman this way, you can understand it by looking at its thickness. Thick semen indicates high sperm concentration which makes it more likely to impregnate a woman.
In case you have thin semen, you may consider the factors mentioned below that are scientifically proven to increase sperm health:
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Quit smoking
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Incorporate a balanced diet
- Stop using steroids
If you fail to notice any significant improvement nt in the quality of your sperm, or, if you are not being able to impregnate your partner after constantly trying for a year, then you better consult a doctor who can medically assist you in this.
How Is ART Possible When Sperm Can Only Last Up To 7 Days?
Advanced infertility treatments either collect sperm from the actual partner of the woman or from a donor. Usually, it is retrieved hours before the procedure. But, in some cases, the partner might not be able to impregnate his woman with his sperm, due to lowered sperm quality. This is exactly when a couple looks for a third person to involve in the process. The donor does not necessarily have to be present on the day of the surgery as the technology has found a way to preserve his sperm for as long as needed. But, are sperm able to live forever?
Although sperm cannot live forever in a female body, it can do it outside in a specifically designed clinical environment. This is only possible through sperm freezing. As long as the sperm stays frozen, it cannot be destroyed.
The quality of sperm is equally important to the internal environment of the female body to support the sustenance of sperm after ejaculation. Although it normally only lasts for a few hours, when the sperm quality is the best and the woman is during ovulation, it is more likely for the sperm to last up to a maximum of 7 days. However, sperm can also last for a long time when it is frozen. But still, it cannot do that inside a woman.
So, all you can do is to take care of your health by incorporating a healthy diet plan and maintaining a healthy weight along with avoiding smoking and limiting the alcohol intake to ensure that the quality of your sperm is never compromised.