How Long Can A Sperm Survive In Cervical Mucus
Have you wondered how long sperm can survive? How long can sperm survive outside the body, or can sperm survive in the female fertile cervical mucus?
This article will help explain all that and how to increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Sperm and Male Fertility
Male fertility is an important aspect to determine the reproductivity of a couple. While the most widely known topic of discussion about male reproductive health is the sperm count, other compounding variables decide the viability of sperm, including motility and morphology.
According to the latest available report by the World Health Organization, a considerable range for a normal sperm count is at least 15 million sperm per millilitre. A level of sperm count lower than this value is medically termed oligozoospermia, while the complete absence of sperm in an ejaculate sample is called azoospermia. Sperm motility is another paramount criteria that enable fertilisation to take place. The reason for this lies in the relatively long journey that a microscopic sperm has to take before reaching the egg, starting from the vagina, cervix, uterus and finally the fallopian tube. A sperm sample with at least 40-81% total motility is preferable for conception outcome. Besides, an ideal sperm movement with the highest motility grade is a fast, propelling motion in a straight or linear line.
Sperm morphology is the next criterion that is of interest when reflecting on male reproductive health. A typically healthy and normal sperm has an oval head with a long tail. However, only 4-10% of the total sperm in an ejaculate would exhibit these properties, while the rest may possess abnormalities such as head or tail defects. Although sperm morphology may seem like an insignificant determinant to male fertility, sperm need to manifest in a certain shape to penetrate and subsequently fertilize an egg.
How long can sperm survive in the female reproductive tract?
This question will surely raise much interest within the community of couples who are trying to conceive due to the direct relationship between the presence of sperm in a female’s reproductive system and conception. However, despite the simplicity of the question, the answer is not as straightforward because of the interplaying characters which can affect the lifespan of sperm in the female reproductive tract, which include the sperm quality, ideal vaginal environment, cervical fluid characteristics and presence of white blood cells, just to name a few.
However, let’s specify the question and increase the likelihood of sperm survival by placing them in the most suitable cervical mucus environment for them to thrive in, the egg white cervical mucus (EWCM). Within the EWCM, sperm can survive for up to 5 days due to their texture and pH, which are protective for sperm longevity. The EWCM is clear, slippery and stretchy in character and is noticeably distinguishable from other phases of cervical mucus because it literally takes the appearance of an egg white.
The cervical mucus aids sperm on their journey to the egg or ovum by protecting them from the acidic environment of the vagina, sustaining sperm with biochemical nutrients and even acts s a filtration trap for poorly performing sperm to ensure the healthiest sperm can fertilize the egg.
How to Increase Chances of Getting Pregnant
The next relatable question to ask is ‘What does this information mean for my fertility?”. This brings us to the importance of well-timed intercourse to increase the likelihood of pregnancy taking place by understanding What Egg White Cervical Mucus Is is and how to identify the EWCM as a sign of fertility.
Understanding that sperm has the highest level of lifespan in this most ideal fertile cervical mucus for them to thrive in, couples can arrange their intercourse during the peak time of the female partner’s fertility. EWCM usually appears a few days before ovulation and can indicate a suitable time to try conceiving.
As additional information for couples who are trying to conceive, Two other measurable and recordable signs of ovulation that can signal female fertility include basal body temperature (BBT) and ovulation predictor kit (OPK).
BBT measurement is a method to recognize fertility by taking your daily waking temperature and detect a slight rise in the temperature that coincides with ovulation. Also, OPKs work by detecting a surge in luteinizing hormone, which occurs approximately 36 hours before ovulation. Both these products are available in Fertility2Family fertility kits.