How Much Sperm Does It Take To Get Pregnant

How Much Sperm Does It Take To Get Pregnant
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Many readers are interested in the following topic: How Much Sperm Does It Take to Get Pregnant? Semen Quality Explained. We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.

It takes just one sperm to fertilize a woman’s egg. Keep in mind, though, for each sperm that reaches the egg, there are millions that don’t.

Sperm FAQ

You may know it takes one sperm and one egg to make a baby, but if you’re like most folks, you might not remember much else about sperm from biology class. If infertility is an issue for you and your partner, it helps to understand the basics.

How long do sperm live?

The answer depends on a number of things, but the most important is where the sperm are located.

On a dry surface, such as clothing or bedding, sperm are dead by the time the semen has dried. In water, such as a warm bath or hot tub, they’ll likely live longer because they thrive in warm, wet places. But the odds that sperm in a tub of water will find their way inside a woman’s body and cause them to get pregnant are extremely low.

When sperm are inside women’s body, they can live for up to 5 days. If you’re a man and you have sex even a few days before your partner ovulates, there’s chance they may get pregnant.

How many sperm do you need to get pregnant?

It takes just one sperm to fertilize a woman’s egg. Keep in mind, though, for each sperm that reaches the egg, there are millions that don’t.

On average, each time men ejaculate they release nearly 100 million sperm. Why are so many sperm released if it takes only one to make a baby? To meet the waiting egg, semen must travel from the vagina to the fallopian tubes, a tough journey that few sperm survive. Experts believe this process may be nature’s way of allowing only the healthiest sperm to fertilize the egg, to provide the best chances of having a healthy baby.

For those sperm that complete the trip, getting into the egg, which is covered by a thick layer, is far from a sure thing.

Is there anything you can do to improve the health of your sperm?

Many of the things you do to keep yourself healthy can also do the same for sperm. Try some of these tips:

  • Don’t smoke or use illicit drugs, especially anabolic steroids.
  • Avoid contact with toxins such as pesticides and heavy metals.
  • Limit how much alcohol you drink.
  • Eat a healthy diet and keep your weight under control.
  • Keep your scrotum cool, because heat slows down the making of sperm. To do this, avoid hot baths, wear boxers instead of briefs, and try not to wear tight pants.

What does a semen analysis tell?

It’s a test that can help your doctor figure out why you and your partner are having trouble having a baby.

Some things you can learn from the analysis:

Amount and thickness of semen. On average, each time men ejaculate they release 2-6 milliliters (mL) of semen, or around a 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon.

Less than that amount may not contain enough sperm for a woman to get pregnant. On the other hand, more than that could dilute the concentration of sperm.

Semen should be thick to start with and become thinner 10 to 15 minutes after ejaculation. Semen that stays thick may make it difficult for sperm to move.

Sperm concentration. Also called sperm density, this is the number of sperm in millions per milliliter of semen. Fifteen million or more sperm per mL is considered normal.

Sperm motility. This is the percentage of sperm in a sample that are moving, as well as an assessment of how they move. One hour after ejaculation, at least 32% of sperm should be moving forward in a straight line.

Morphology. This is an analysis of the size, shape, and appearance of sperm.

Do men stop making sperm when they’re older?

Men can continue to be fertile throughout life. The amount of sperm you make goes down as you get older, but even elderly men have fathered children.

How Much Sperm Does It Take to Get Pregnant? Semen Quality Explained

How Much Sperm Does It Take to Get Pregnant? Semen Quality Explained

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Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or want to avoid it, it’s helpful to know the science behind sperm and conception. Keep reading to learn all about how much sperm it takes to get pregnant, along with other characteristics of semen that are important for conceiving a baby.

What sperm characteristics matter for conception?

Different factors determine sperm health and the chances of fertilizing an egg. Sperm quantity, concentration, motility, and shape are all factors that determine if a male is fertile. The amount of sperm and their ability to move are the most important factors for a male to be able to get a female pregnant.

Sperm fertility factors

Amount and concentration

When males ejaculate, they release on average around 100 million sperm. It only takes one sperm fertilizing an egg to conceive a child. Millions of sperm die on the journey to reach the egg.

But how much sperm does it take to get pregnant? A fertile man’s ejaculation has at least 15 million sperm up to over 200 million sperm per milliliter (or two teaspoons) of semen. Each ejaculation has around 2-6 milliliters or ½-1 teaspoon of semen. If a man has under 15 million sperm per milliliter or less than 39 million total sperm in one ejaculation, he is considered to have a low sperm count. Some males have zero sperm in their semen, a condition known as azoospermia.

When there is less sperm in an ejaculation, it reduces the probability that you will get pregnant. This is simply because there are fewer sperm available to reach and fertilize the egg. While having a low sperm count makes it more difficult to conceive, it’s still possible to get pregnant.


Sperm motility is its ability to swim. In order to reach and fertilize an egg, sperm needs to move first through the cervix, then the uterus and finally the uterine tubes. If at least 40 percent of sperm are moving, a man is most likely fertile.


The structure, or morphology, of sperm are a third factor for conception. A normal sperm is shaped with an oval head and a long tail. These elements work together to propel the sperm forward to swim and find the egg located in the uterine tubes. Having more sperm with this shape increases the chance of fertility.

Sperm shape for fertility


New sperm are being constantly produced in the testicles and take between 42 to 76 days to reach maturity. After sperm are ejaculated into the female reproductive tract, they stay alive for up to five days. Within this time, the sperm can fertilize an egg. If semen is preserved at freezing temperatures, sperm can live for several decades. When sperm is on a dry surface (like on the bed or clothes), they will die when the semen is dry. In water (like in a warm bath or hot tub), sperm will live longer, but it’s very unlikely that they will make their way through the uterus and result in pregnancy.

Can increasing sperm volume help conception?

Having a healthy sperm count is important for conception. There are a few things males can do to produce healthy sperm and boost sperm count, including maintaining a good weight and eating a healthy diet, practicing safe sex to prevent STIs, keeping stress levels low, and exercising regularly. Avoiding alcohol, smoking, toxins (pesticides, lead, etc.), lubricants during sex, certain medications (steroids, tricyclic antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, and anti-androgens), and keeping the penis cool also helps improve fertility.

How much sperm does it take to get pregnant with artificial insemination?

Artificial insemination (AI) is when sperm is placed inside the uterus. During in vitro fertilization, eggs and sperm are combined outside of the female’s body in a lab and then the fertilized egg is returned to the womb. This can be an option for couples where the male has a slightly lower sperm count or motility and you’ve been trying to get pregnant for at least one year.

Artificial insemination requires a minimum 6.7 million sperm per insemination to be successful. But sperm amount matters less for AI than for natural insemination. Instead, sperm motility and shape play a greater role.

Can you get pregnant from precum?

Precum is pre-ejaculate fluid released from the penis during sex. There is a low probability that you will get pregnant from precum, but it’s still possible. Studies show that the majority of precum either has dead sperm or none at all, but small amounts can still be present. A 2016 study of 42 healthy males found actively mobile sperm in 16.7 percent of pre-ejaculatory fluid.

There are several factors that signal if sperm is healthy and likely to fertilize an egg, including the amount and concentration per ejaculation of semen, as well as motility and structure. Even if a male has a low sperm count, there are some things he can do to take care of his health and improve the chance of getting a female pregnant.