How long can sperm live in a woman or in fertile cervical fluid?

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Male Fertility >> FAQ: What is Sperm Count and Motility?

12. Question: What is Sperm Count and Motility? How many days can sperm live inside a woman?

Answer: For those new to trying-to-conceive or those getting pregnant for the first time, when you think of sperm health you think of sperm count, or the actual number of little fellows in each ejaculate. While sperm count is indeed important, there are other equally central aspects of male fertility. These include healthy sperm motility and variables like morphology (correct shape and physiological structure). Also, in a given sample, a certain percentage of sperm must be "vital" (basically, alive and swimming). Sperm count is defined as the actual number of sperm in a given sample, and according to the World Health Organization, typical counts should be around 40 million in a given semen sample (during a semenanalysis). Products like the SpermCheck Fertility test, a home testing kit available in our online store, can alert you to basic problems in count. Next, sperm motility is defined as the forward, swimming motion exhibited by each unique sperm. To be motile, sperm must be able to metabolize energy and "swim" to the goal (the ovum). FertilAid for Men is a natural, non-prescription product that has been clinically demonstrated to improve sperm count and motility.

Given normal sperm parameters in the area of motility, count, vitality, and morphology, how long can sperm survive in a woman? That's a good question, but the answer is a very difficult one and depends on a large number of variables including the individual longevity of sperm, the internal metabolic capacity of sperm, the environment of the vagina (body temperature, ph levels, relative acidity), the presence of cervical mucus, the quality of cervical mucus, the ability of the sperm to get out of the vagina and into the womb, and the presence of sperm antagonists like immunity securing white-blood cells.


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Note: If you’re trying to conceive, Softcup is a product that can be used to keep sperm close to the cervix after sex, thereby increasing the likelihood of successful conception. You can read more about the way Softcup is being used by trying-to-conceive women here.

Given the most ideal conditions (ideal vaginal/uterine environments, fertile CM, strong sperm health, etc) sperm may be able to survive between six and seven days. That's about a quarter of a typical menstrual cycle - and that means an extended window of fertility before ovulation. In most cases, however, we can assume that there will be realistic factors that may decrease sperm longevity or inhibit sperm movement. First of all, the sperm need to get out of the vagina and into the uterus (through the cervix). If the sperm can't make that initial leg of the journey in a few hours, most will end up dead shortly thereafter. Now, if fertile-quality cervical mucus is present and abundant, and if the sperm make make it to cervix and the womb, then sperm life-span can be extended. FertileCM provides an effective means of improving the quantity and quality cervical mucus for precisely this purpose. On average, we can expect sperm to survive just a day or two, and given more optimum conditions or luckier happenstance, a handful of days more.

Of course, with each passing day more and more sperm die and the odds of conceiving diminish. Therefore, the ideal trying-to-conceive strategy would be to make love daily during days of both transitional and high fertility.

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