Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

Sperm: How long do they live after ejaculation?

How long do sperm live after ejaculation?

Updated: 05-02-2018

Answer

Answer Section

The life span of sperm after ejaculation depends on the circumstances.

Ejaculated sperm remain viable for several days within a woman's reproductive tract or in nutritive liquid (culture medium) in a lab setting. Fertilization is possible as long as the sperm remain alive — at least five days.

Sperm also can be preserved for years when semen is frozen.