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How long do sperm live?

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Written by Cara Sumner

Cara Sumner

Cara Sumner is an accomplished writer with more than ten years of experience writing on subjects including skincare, sustainability, health, and wellness. Now, she’s dedicating her days to bringing more awareness and education to female reproductive health in her role at Natural Cycles. Cara holds a Master's Degree in Social Anthropology from Stockholm University and Minored in Female Studies/English Literature while getting her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Radford University in the States. On the weekends, you'll find her forest bathing in the woods around Stockholm.

Fact checked by Jack Pearson, Medical Affairs Manager at Natural Cycles

Jack Pearson

Dr. Jack Pearson is a previously HCPC registered Embryologist with a PhD in reproductive medicine. Prior to joining Natural Cycles leading Medical Affairs, he worked for more than 10 years in a clinical setting working at some of the busiest fertility clinics in the UK. Today he spends most of his time working with experts at the world’s leading institutions to carry out important research with the vision to further the field of female health. He earned his PhD from the University of Sheffield specializing in Sperm Metabolism and currently lives in London.

Key takeaways:

  • Sperm can live in the female reproductive system for as long as five days, depending on the environment

  • Sperm are continually produced in the testes, meaning most men are fertile throughout their lifetime 

  • Sperm quality is an important factor in fertility and can be promoted by making healthy lifestyle choices

Sperm can live inside a woman's body for up to five days. If you have unprotected sex even a few days before you ovulate, there's a chance of getting pregnant. In this article, we’re tackling the life cycle of sperm, plus their survival rate in different circumstances. Read on to learn more about what can influence sperm production, survival, and health.

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