I was wondering how long sperm can survive outside body


Q: I was wondering how long sperm can survive outside body if stored in a container and mixed with preseed or a fertility friendly lubricant? To be honest I am afraid that I become pregnant from a lubricant lube that contains sperm. I suffer from OCD and it?s driving me crazy. Thank you very much


A:   Hello,
thanks for the query to ATD for an opinion,

The life of sperm in reproductive tract is 72-120 hrs at max and is dependent on the level of fructose nutrition available to it during the ejaculate with the seminal fluid.
The survival of semen outside reproductive tract is controversially low considering after liquefaction, fructose is utilised very fast by number of sperms so even if stored with pressed and fertility lubricant (which provides gel based frictionless motility but no fructose), the chances of sperms surviving is low and can be from 18-24 hrs as temperature also plays an important role in their survival and also any contact with fomites or plastic containers can render them defective to penetrate or move ahead.

I hope i have answered you query in detail,
Wishing you good health,

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thank you very much. I have severe OCD. And am having thoughts that someone inserted semen in the fertile friendly lubricant I have and the idea is driving me crazy. Is there any way I can make sure that it hasn't been inserted. The lubricant I have is see through. If it were to be mixed with semen could I tell from the color or I mean is there any way I can make sure there wasn't any semen inserted in it. I am five weeks pregnant and have been having these thoughts for a week. My fear is that when I used this lubricant and inserted it in my vagina that it had someone else's sperm. Thank you very much
Doctor: Hello,
The best way to make sure that semen hasn't been inserted in your lubricant tube is to throw away that tube and buy a fresh one. All your doubts shall be put to rest. Switch to a fresh pack of lube.
Patient: But the thing is I'm already pregnant and this thought only occurred after I found out I was pregnant. And I want to make sure that no one has already inserted anything in the lube. As I mentioned I suffer OCD and this thought developed in my mind after I found out I was pregnant. So is there any way I can make sure that the lubricant did not contain sperm. I mean like from its color or anything else. Thank you very much
Doctor: It would be difficult to make out as after so long now, the colour perception may not be true sign of contamination, if we go by your OCD. The only possible way is to subject the lubricant gel to a microbiological examination under a high power microscope and look for dead sperms. If seen then it can be confirmed that it was impregnanted earlier else your doubt shall clear.
Patient: Thank you very much. One last question. The lubricant I used contains glycerol is that not similar to fructose?
Doctor: no it is a complex carb and different .
Patient: I have been trying to get pregnant for over than a year now. We even were going to start ivf (Isci) and ever since I knew I was pregnant, I started getting panic attacks and crazy ideas. Everybody is telling me that it's 100% impossible that I got pregnant by inserting the lubricant and to be honest after I asked you today it appears to me that it isn't impossible. And that has made my situation deteriorate. I know I really need to see a psychiatrist before things get worse. I don't know if I have anymore questions. Thank you very much
Doctor: You should visit a counsellor and that shall you ease your situation. Firstly it is not possible to get the sperms inside the lube tube , so rest assured you are not pregnant due to lube, having sperms.
Patient: I mean how about if the male opened the lubricant and touched the upper surface of it. And his hands had semen on them. Is it possible that they swim into the sperm friendly lubricant and survive in there. The lubricant I used consists of: DEIONIZED WATER, HYPROMELLOSE, SODIUM CLORIDE, GLYCEROL, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE, METHYLPARABEN, POTASSIUM CLORIDE, MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE, CALCIUM CLORIDE. Thank you
Doctor: they will not survive in the lubricant tube with these chemicals in situ.
Doctor: I feel you should stop thinking about it and concentrate on your pregnancy..Any amount of stress in early pregnancy can be detrimental for placentation in early pregnancy and hence for the foetus, so try filling yourself with positive and happy thoughts only.
Patient: Thank you soo much. I really appreciate your help. I'm going to visit a psychiatrist on Monday. Thank you so much
Doctor: you are welcome and please take care of yourself :)

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