Fertility Awareness: Sperm/Ejaculation

    All your questions about sperm/ejaculation answered!

    What are sperms?

    Sperm cells, also called spermatozoa or sperms, are made by the man's testes. Production of sperms happens all the time, and it takes about 72 days for a man to produce a sperm. After the sperms get mixed with fluid made by the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland, that mixture is called the ejaculate or semen. In order to improve pregnancy, there have to be sufficient amount of sperm present.

    How long can sperm live?
    Outside the body most sperm usually die within minutes. Studies have shown that inside the vagina most sperm die within hours after intercourse. Sperm moving up the cervix and into the uterus can survive in the female genital tract up to several days, though fertilization is more likely if sperms are deposited close to ovulation.

    What is a normal sperm count?
    A normal sperm count is between 20 and 250 million per milliliter, there should be at least 2 milliliter of ejaculate, and the sperms have to be healthy and move well. Getting the sperm tested is suggested to make sure the male has a normal sperm count.

    What is a normal sperm evaluation?
    There have to be enough sperms (more than 20 million per milliliter), the ejaculate has to have sufficient volume (more than 2 milliliter), the ejaculate's consistency must be adequate, and sufficient sperms need to move adequately and look healthy.

    What happens with the sperm/ejaculate during intercourse?
    If there is ejaculation during unprotected intercourse into the vagina, the ejaculate is first deposited inside the vagina, close to the cervix. The sperm moves up the cervix into the uterus and up into the Fallopian tubes. Fertilization occurs when a sperm joins with the egg, this usually happens within hours after intercourse.

    Can I get pregnant if he sperm/ejaculates outside the vagina?
    That's not such a great way trying to prevent pregnancy. You can get pregnant even if he ejaculates outside but close to the vagina, though chances are lower than if he ejaculates inside your vagina. It only takes one sperm to make it up the vagina into the uterus and meet the egg.