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How long does the sperm stay alive inside the body?
(Speciality: Doctor)
Sperm count is defined as the actual number of sperm in a given sample, and according to the World Health Organization (WHO) typical counts should be around 40 million in given semen sample during a semen analysis. Sperm exposed to room air on clothing, bed linens or toilet seats lose motility rapidly. Once the semen dries out, the sperms are usually dead. If semen is spilled on the external genitals (not in the vagina) they can swim to enter the vagina. Thus, they travel from outside the body to inside. Sperm survival in a woman 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. Sperm usually die inside the vagina within less than an hour but they can survive inside the uterus for up to 5 days. In certain environments such as the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes sperm have a life-span of up to five days, but most die within 1-2 days. In other environments, such as the vagina, sperm live only a few hours and even less than that outside the human body, exposed to the open air. That is why a woman can get pregnant if they ovulate within 5 days after intercourse.

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