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How Long Can Sperm Live Inside The Female Body?

Did you know that sperm can live inside the female body for 5 days waiting to pounce on an egg once it has been released? Professor Allan Pacey explains why a woman is fertile for several days each month.

 

 

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Transcript

0:02 Once sperm are ejaculated they have the capacity to swim for many days once
0:13 they're inside the female's body.  If she's during her fertile window, then
0:20 those sperm that enter the vagina will quickly pass through the cervix into the
0:27 womb and then move on into the fallopian tubes.
0:31 We think that there's a mechanism for sperm to kind of power down and to be held
0:37 in a state of suspended animation and they wait there until the
0:43 egg is released which sends a signal. We're not sure what that signal is though. After this
0:47 they are then slowly released from their storage site in the fallopian tube where
0:52 they can move along the fallopian tube to find and fertilize an egg.
0:57 Now that sounds like a really quick process but actually that whole process
1:03 can take up to five days so that sex five days before the time that the egg
1:10 is released may lead to conception because the sperm have been helped along
1:18 their way by the woman's body.
1:19 They've been selected,  they've been powered down to some extent and then
1:25 they've been given that final trigger to go on and hunt, find and fertilize the
1:31 egg.
1:31 So that's why we think to maximise the chance of conception having sex two or
1:38 three times a week means that you are fairly certain to hit that four or five
1:45 day window when the woman's body is receptive to sperm and when it's most
1:50 able to keep the sperm alive and healthy.