Life span of sperm

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Wave
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Life span of sperm

Unread post by Wave »

I have few questions on how long sperm lives. I’ve read articles that say sperm lasts outside of the body for 15-30 minutes sometimes for hours. Then after they state that fact they say once sperm is dry its died. I guess what I am trying to ask is when they say 15-30 minutes are they saying that is the amount of time it takes for sperm to dry? Or is that the amount of time it takes for sperm to consume all the life support from the semen. Are there other factors like temperature in the air, which will cool or heat the semen, causing a shock that kills the sperm or slows down motility. Or speed up the process in which nutrients become ineffective at keeping sperm alive?
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Re: Life span of sperm

Unread post by Marisha »

Hi Wave, great question!

As put by the wonderful Ruthie in our advice column, "sperm are [...] very fragile little organisms. They can live nearly a week within the the reproductive system they're ejaculated into, but they die very quickly once they get dry in the air, are exposed to cleaning chemicals or change temperature too much. That means that when the semen dries out, the sperm inside are probably dead. According to Dr. Harms of the Mayo Clinic, sperm in semen exposed to the open air will usually die within a few hours. You can also kill sperm on your hands, clothes, or bedding by washing them in soap and water. If you have semen on your body and need a quick clean up, you can simply wipe it up with baby wipe or tissue so that the remaining semen dries quickly. The rest will probably dry in the trash long before you take out the garbage."

Does all of that make sense? There are other resources linked in that article that may help your research.
Wave
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Re: Life span of sperm

Unread post by Wave »

I’ve clicked the link and read the articles, I need some clarification from the your answer and the articles one being from who’s afraid of sperm cells, as it states that if sperm is sitting longer than one hour there is no worry of the sperms ability to be able to impregnate so I’m guessing based on the paragraph above that its because of the not so infinite amount of resources in which sperm have. And from the answer about Mayo article that sperm won’t last more than a couple hours, Is there a percentage for example the majority of them die with this time frame and then by end of a couple hours all the sperm are not alive.
Marisha
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Re: Life span of sperm

Unread post by Marisha »

Sperm are only able to survive under very specific temperature and moisture conditions, and even then, they can only survive for so long. If they are dried out, they are certain to be dead. If they're too hot, cold, or old, they are certain to be dead. The only way to know their exact moment of death is to view them under a microscope - they are minuscule, after all. But under the conditions listed here, you can have peace of mind. Does that answer your question?
Wave
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Re: Life span of sperm

Unread post by Wave »

Yes that answers my questions, but I am still lacking information, for this example I am just going to be using baseline averages such as the thirty minute mark and room temperature does you answer from above still apply? I have also been reading similar scenarios from this website where the semen then comes into contact with things such as objects, doors, clothing, hands within that 30 minute mark. The answer for those questions is that it lose any ability to impregnate. Why is that?
Elise
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Re: Life span of sperm

Unread post by Elise »

Hi Wave, sperm cannot cause pregnancy when it comes into contact with objects like you identify because they are really fragile cells, and need really specific conditions in which to survive (those conditions are found in vaginal canal, and nowhere else in nature). If sperm aren't ejaculated into the vaginal canal or onto the genitals, or deliberately inserted another way, via something like IVF treatment, then they cannot successfully get to where they need to go to create a pregnancy.

One thing it can help to remember is that sperm aren't like a bacteria or a virus, they can't "infect" you simply by simply coming into contact with you. They need to undertake a really specific path by a specific delivery method to meet with an egg.

You can read more about it in these articles here, they get more into the specifics:
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