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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Pregnancy and Parenting » semen

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Author Topic: semen
katiebelle31
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how long can semen survive in a woman's body?
please and thank you

Posts: 12 | From: California | Registered: Dec 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You probably mean sperm, right? To be clear, semen is a fluid (made of a bunch of different components) which carries sperm. Sperm is what can create a pregnancy. Semen can't really "survive" or not, just like vaginal fluids can. Sperm cells, on the other hand, can.

That said, it's understood that sperm has the capacity to remain viable and in a woman's body for potentially as long as 5-7 days.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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katiebelle31
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so if plan b is taken the day of my last period, is it safe to say the sperm wont survive for ovulation?
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Heather
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No.

Whether or not Plan B is likely to be effective depends on how soon you take it: it doesn't matter when in your cycle it is taken.

Ideally, it should be taken within 24 hours of a risk, but it's understood to be 89% effective if taken in the first 72 hours, and 79% effective if taken within 72 and 120 hours after a risk.

As well, we can't know when you ovulate (neither can you) just based on what day you are at in your cycle, because all women do not ovulate on the same day. For a woman who ovulates on day 15, intercourse on day 6 or 7 is not likely to pose much, if any, risk at all of pregnancy. Whereas, for a woman who ovulates on day 11, there may be a moderate to high risk.

To know with any accuracy when we ovulate, we have to chart our fertilty through daily tracking and note-taking of cervical mucus and basal temps, then look at at least a few months of those charts to interpret the patterns.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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katiebelle31
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I took Plan B 11 hours after the sex occured. Hopefully that will give me the best chances of NOT getting pregnant.

So are all the websites that say that most woman ovulate around the 14th day in the cycle wrong?

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Heather
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More women than not ovulate around the 11th - the 15th day of a cycle. If any website says all or most women do on that ONE date, then yes, those are not factual.

But any website even saying many women ovulate between days 11 and 15 should be clear that plenty of women also ovulate on other dates.

If you want a really great, accurate book to read about fertility, charting and fertile periods, the best there is, which has been around for over 20 years, sells more than any other, and is also written by someone I have spent a little time with and know to be a lovely person, get your hands on "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler, OR her book on same for younger women "Cycle Savvy."

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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katiebelle31
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I cant even rememeber which websites are which anymore. I think I have spent atleast 10 hours a day since the sex happened looking up information regarding ovulation and plan b. Its really freaking me out.

Do you know the soonest I could take a pregnancy test? I know its best if you take one when your period is late, but since I was on my period when I had sex, that seems a little longer than necessary.

Oh, Thanks for the recommendation on the books! I'll def. check them out.

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