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Lifespan of Sperm

Lifespan of Sperm
The sperm is a necessary component when it comes to pregnancy. And that is why the lifespan of sperm becomes an important issue to look into because it directly affects the turn of any pregnancy. In the article that follows, we will study the lifespan of sperm in different conditions and learn something more about this aspect.Spermatozoa (Sperms) are the male sex cells that are responsible for carrying forth the process of fertilization when they combine with the ovum (female egg) and lead to the formation of a zygote. In short, without the sperm and eggs, a woman cannot get pregnant. This article will deal with the different factors that influence the lifespan of sperm.

The lifespan of sperm is one of the major factors that influences the turn of a pregnancy. There are several factors that play an important role when it comes to the lifespan of male sperm and the varied conditions that influence this factor as well. In the following paragraphs, we will study the factors as well as the time periods that influence the lifespan of human sperm as an important factor of men's health.

The Sperm and its Workings

Before we go into the details of the lifespan of sperm and the varied factors that surround it, there is a need to learn a little something more about the sperm and its workings. Let's carry forth semen analysis for the sake of that.

The sperm is carried in the male ejaculation, known as semen. A single ejaculation contains about 200-500 million sperms. Of these only one sperm will penetrate the egg and form a baby. A sperm's physical components include a head, a tail and a body. The head stores 23 chromosomes that act as the DNA of the human form. These 23 chromosomes become a complete set of 46 chromosomes (2 pairs of 23, as is the case with every other cell in the body) when they join with the female ovum (which contains the remaining 23 chromosomes). This then leads to the formation of a zygote which has the complete DNA to make a human form. The body contains chemicals which help the tail carry forward its function of swimming to the cervix and into the fallopian tube where the eggs are stored.

A single sperm is one of the smallest cells in the body (0.05 millimeters). The lifespan of sperm is easily affected by several internal and external influences, which results in easy destruction of the same. To correct this, the body formulates over 200-500 million sperms per ejaculation. The sperms are produced by a process called spermatogenesis. The underdeveloped sperm cells which are present in males at the time of birth, evolve into reproductive cells at the time of puberty and begin to make copies of themselves (4 each). This process continues throughout a male's adult life.

The lifespan of sperm in the male testicles cannot be exacted. The only factor that is known is that as the time between each ejaculation increases, the quality of the sperms decreases.

What is the Lifespan of Sperm

The lifespan of a sperm will depend on several factors. It is said that once the sperm is released into the female body and travels into the fallopian tube, it can survive for a period of about 5-7 days, that being the average lifespan of sperm. Thus, even if ovulation has not taken place, the sperm can live in the fallopian tube for 5-7 days and carry forth successful fertilization. If therefore, the sperm has reached the fallopian tube, it increases the chances of getting pregnant for a woman. The following is a table that explains the lifespan of sperm and answers the question regarding how long does sperm live in different environments.
Environment Lifespan of Sperm
Fallopian Tube 5-7 Days
Uterus/Cervix Few Hours
Air Immediate Destruction
Testicles Not Known

The time that it takes to reach the fallopian tube depends on the rate of motility of the sperm and its count. If these are high, then it can automatically lead to increasing the lifespan of sperm. Read more on increase sperm motility and how to increase sperm count.

Not many sperm can carry forth this task and it is seen that those sperms that do not reach the fallopian tube and remain in the cervix or uterus will not last longer than a few hours. This is because the uterus and cervix have a very hostile and acidic environment which is not conducive for the survival of the sperm. The lifespan of sperm in uterus can, therefore, be determined as a few hours at the maximum and not more.

The lifespan of sperm outside the body is even lesser than that of inside the body. A sperm exposed to the air will die almost immediately. Thus the lifespan of sperm exposed to air is close to nil.

The human body works in very efficient ways. When one looks at the functions and the journey of the sperm, this point is proved. This basic understanding of the lifespan of sperm will have helped you understand the role that the male sex cells play in the reproduction process.