What is the life span of sperm?
What you’re probably interested in is how long sperm live once they’re ejaculated. I’ll get to that in a second, but since you asked about “life span” I’ll give you the full answer. Given that a healthy guy will make several hundred million sperm every day, you might think making the little fellas would be simple. Hardly. It actually takes between two and three months to make a fully functioning sperm. They begin as ordinary-looking body cells-featureless and roughly spherical. Over the course of weeks, the cell divides so that the resulting sperm will carry only half of the normal complement of chromosomes (so that when it unites with the egg, the resulting embryo will have the normal 46). It also grows a tail and transforms into a tadpole-like swimmer you learned about in high school biology class. The sperm migrate through increasingly larger tubes that all finally converge on the large-bore tubes called the vas deferens. The live, ready-for-action sperm are stored in the somewhat enlarged terminal enda of the vas deferens just before they enter the prostate.
Now to your real question. Once they are ejaculated, the sperm can live anywhere from a few minutes to nine days. It all depends on the conditions in which they find themselves post orgasm. If the semen is simply expelled into the world (i.e., a tissue, the floor, or a toilet), the little guys perish within minutes. But if they’re lucky enough to end up at the back of a comfy vagina, they can live anywhere from two to nine days. Turns out that some women’s reproductive tracts are more chemically welcoming to sperm than others. The acid level of some vaginal secretions and cervical mucus is so high that they are actually toxic to sperm and may be the cause of infertility. Often this is the result of a low-grade bacterial infection, which can usually be cleared up with a course of appropriate antibiotic.
Read more of Dr. Fisch’s advice in his book:
Size Matters; The Hard Facts About Male Sexuality That Every Woman Should Know…And All The Knowledge You Need To Improve Your Sex Life