How Fast Does Semen Travel?

How Fast Does Semen Travel
In most cases, they’ll outlast yours. On average, men experience about 22 seconds of mind-numbing bliss , which is four seconds longer than the typical female orgasm. Again, those are averages: Each orgasm is different, and some can involve bonus thrills , while others seem to be over in a New York minute (i.

less than 18 to 22 seconds). Regularly practicing Kegel exercises can buy both genders a few extra seconds of pleasure, says Kristen Mark, PhD, a sex and relationships researcher and assistant professor at the University of Kentucky.

They lead to sperm traveling a mile in about the same amount of time as a woman speed walking. When sperm are first ejaculated, they can reach speeds of up to 28 miles per hour (this is difficult to measure, says Mark, but that’s the most commonly-cited top speed).

That’s about as fast as Usain Bolt can run. Once they crowd into the vagina, they slow down to about 4 miles per hour—about as fast as you might walk when you’re late to an important appointment. It can take them from 30 minutes to three days to make it all the way to the waiting egg.

They won’t sabotage his performance in tomorrow’s big game. Athletes and their coaches long believed that getting frisky the night before an event was a bad idea (and they were skittish about testing the hypothesis). The idea was that sex would sap their energy, and for men, that the testosterone expelled during ejaculation could rob them of their mojo.

  • Good news for athletes (and their partners): There’s no good scientific evidence that either of these beliefs is true , according to a review of the literature published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine;

One study involved a strength test the morning after sex and also after six days of abstinence—and found no significant difference in the participants’ performance. Two other studies concluded that sexual activity had no noticeable effect on grip strength, balance or aerobic power.

Some scientists even believe that the male orgasm boosts testosterone, which is good for his general health as well as his game. Keep in mind that these tests didn’t measure the psychological effect of sex before sports: so, no matter what science says, if you think it will slow you down or hold you back, it might.

Their byproduct is potent stuff—but not the way you think. The average ejaculation consists mostly of a teaspoon’s worth of fluid, but only about 2 to 5 percent of that may be sperm. The rest is made up of everything the sperm needs for its long and treacherous journey.

Seminal fluid has also been found to contain natural mood enhancers like serotonin, cortisol , prolactin, oxytocin, and estrone, as well as the sleep-aid melatonin. Researchers from the University of Albany raised eyebrows a few years ago when they published a study suggesting that because of semen’s unique properties, women who had unprotected sex might be happier than those who had sex with condoms or abstained completely.

Next: Why a change of sheets may not be necessary.

How Fast Is sperm ejected?

Per a Men’s Health article from 2005, semen is ejaculated at a speed of 28 miles per hour , which is rather fast.

How fast do sperm swim in inches?

How does sperm fertilize an egg? — Once you’ve ejaculated, your sperm goes on an epic quest to find the egg. First they have to survive the acid in a woman’s vagina, which can be deadly to sperm, and swim through cervical mucus, which can feel like swimming through treacle.

  1. Then they have to travel about seven inches up the fallopian tube (they travel roughly an inch every 15 minutes, so that’s quite a schlep);
  2. A healthy sperm that swims in a fairly straight line can make it in 45 minutes, whereas it may take a straggler up to 12 hours;

Only a dozen or so make it to the egg; the others die en route, get lost or trapped. The survivors work frantically to penetrate the egg, but it only takes one to fertilise it.

What makes a man to release quick?

What causes premature ejaculation? — Physical, chemical and emotional/psychological factors cause premature ejaculation. Physical and chemical problems include:

  • An underlying erectile dysfunction diagnosis.
  • A hormonal problem with oxytocin levels, which has a role in sexual function in men. Other hormone levels that play a role in sexual function include luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Low serotonin or dopamine levels, chemicals in the brain that are involved in sexual desire and excitement.
  • A penis that is extra sensitive to stimulation.

Emotional or psychological causes include:

  • Performance anxiety. Could be due to the nervousness of being with a new partner, anxiousness of having sex again after a long period of abstinence, lack of confidence, guilt, being overly excited or stimulated or other reasons.
  • Stress.
  • Relationship problems.
  • Depression.

How much sperm is required for getting pregnant?

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. 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.
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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.

  1. 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;
  2. 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.

  1. Fifteen million or more sperm per mL is considered normal;
  2. Sperm motility;
  3. This is the percentage of sperm in a sample that are moving, as well as an assessment of how they move;
  4. 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 long can the average man stay erect?

«Naturally, without being on any medications, the average erection for an average person would be roughly 10 minutes ,» says Simhan.

Can watering sperm pregnant a woman?

Can a girl get pregnant with diluted semen? Watery or thick,the semens consistency has no connect with the number of sperm. So, she can certainly get pregnant. Do not use it as an excuse to have unprotected sex, though.

Can I get pregnant if he pulled out and put it back in?

Most people only release a small amount, and it doesn’t typically contain sperm. But sperm cells lingering in the urethra from a recent ejaculation can mix with the pre-cum. Even if you manage to nail your timing and pull out before ejaculating, even a tiny bit of the fluid can get lead to pregnancy.

How fast can a sperm cell swim?

Sperm Transport in the Female Reproductive Tract — Sperm transport within the female reproductive tract is a cooperative effort between the functional properties of the sperm and seminal fluid on the one hand and cyclic adaptations of the female reproductive tract that facilitate the transport of sperm toward the ovulated egg. The normal environment of the vagina is inhospitable to the survival of sperm, principally because of its low pH (<5. 0). The low pH of the vagina is a protective mechanism for the woman against many sexually transmitted pathogens, because no tissue barrier exists between the vagina (outside) and the peritoneal cavity (inside). The acidic pH of the vagina is bacteriocidal and is the reflection of an unusual functional adaptation of the vaginal epithelium.

Much of the story of sperm transport in the female reproductive system involves the penetration by the sperm of various barriers along their way toward the egg (see Fig. 14. 7B ). During coitus in the human, semen is deposited in the upper vagina close to the cervix.

Alone among the stratified squamous epithelia in the body, the cells of the vaginal lining contain large amounts of glycogen. Anaerobic lactobacilli within the vagina break down the glycogen from shed vaginal epithelial cells, with the production of lactic acid as a byproduct.

The lactic acid is responsible for the lowered vaginal pH. Direct measurements have shown that within 8   seconds from the introduction of semen the pH of the upper vagina is raised from 4. 3 to 7. 2, creating an environment favorable for sperm motility.

Another rapid event is the coagulation of human semen through the actions of semogelin by a minute after coitus. The coagulative function is incompletely understood, but it may play a role in keeping sperm near the cervical os. Thirty to 60   minutes after it coagulates, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a proteolytic enzyme, degrades the coagulated semen.

Within the semen and altered vaginal fluids, the sperm have begun to swim actively. A critical element in sperm motility is the availability of fructose , a nutrient provided by the seminal vesicles, within the semen.

Because of their paucity of cytoplasm, spermatozoa require an external energy source. Unusually for most cells, spermatozoa have a specific requirement for fructose rather than glucose, the more commonly utilized carbohydrate energy source. The next barrier facing sperm is the cervix.

  1. The cervical entrance (os) is not only very small, but it is blocked by cervical mucus;
  2. During most times in the menstrual cycle, cervical mucus is highly sticky (G mucus) and represents an almost impenetrable barrier to sperm penetration;

Around the time of ovulation, however, the estrogenic environment of the female reproductive system brings about a change in cervical mucus, rendering it more watery and more amenable to penetration by sperm (E mucus). Considerable uncertainty surrounds the question of passage of sperm through the cervix.

The swimming speed of human sperm in fluid is approximately 5   mm/min, so in theory, sperm could swim through the cervical canal in a matter of minutes or hours. In reality, some sperm have been found in the upper reaches of the uterine tubes within minutes of coitus.

These pioneers are likely to have been swept up the female reproductive tract during muscular contractions occurring at the time of or shortly after coitus. Research on rabbits has indicated that most of these sperm have been damaged and would not be able to fertilize an egg.

  1. The functional status of early-arriving human sperm is not known;
  2. On the other end of the spectrum, viable sperm have been taken from the cervix as long as 5 days after coitus;
  3. Between these two extremes, over the course of hours or even days, most of the spermatozoa make their way through the cervical mucus and up the cervical canal and into the uterus, where even less is known about the course of sperm transport in the human;
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Whether or not sperm are stored in the cervix is still not entirely certain. Sperm transport into and through the uterus is assumed to be assisted by contractions of its thick smooth muscle walls. There may or may not be subtle influences that favor the transport of sperm toward the opening of the uterine tube that contains the ovulated egg.

Of the huge numbers of sperm that enter the female reproductive tract, almost all fail to reach the uterine tubes. The unsuccessful sperm are removed by the infiltration of white blood cells into the cavities of the vagina, cervix, and uterus.

These cells, along with certain immunoglobulins, inactivate and degrade foreign invaders, in this case, the excess sperm. Fortunately, the uterine tubes are not subject to this sort of cellular infiltration. The openings of the uterine tubes into the uterus ( uterotubal junction ) represent another barrier to sperm transport.

  • With two uterine tubes and usually only one ovulated egg, any spermatozoon that enters the empty uterine tube is automatically doomed to reproductive failure;
  • Roughly 10,000 or fewer sperm cells of the millions in the ejaculate enter the correct tube;

These sperm cells collect in the lower part of the uterine tube and attach to the epithelium of the tube for about 24   hours. Two critical events occur during this period of attachment. The first is called capacitation , a reaction necessary for a spermatozoon to be able to fertilize an egg.

  1. The first phase of the capacitation reaction is the removal of cholesterol from the surface of the sperm;
  2. Cholesterol was introduced onto the sperm head to prevent premature capacitation;
  3. The next phase of capacitation is the removal of many of the glycoproteins that were deposited on the sperm head within the epididymis;

After their removal, the spermatozoon is now capable of fertilizing an egg. It is likely that covering the sperm cells with glycoproteins and then cholesterol is done to prevent the sperm from prematurely attempting to fertilize other somatic cells that they encounter on their way to meeting the egg.

  • Capacitation removes the molecular shield;
  • A second phenomenon occurring while the sperm are attached to the distal tubal lining is hyperactivation of the sperm;
  • Hyperactivation is manifest by the increased vigor in their swimming movements and allows the sperm to break free from their binding with the tubal epithelial cells;

Hyperactivated sperm are more efficient in making their way up the uterine tube and penetrating the coverings of the egg. Once capacitated sperm break away from the tubal epithelium, they make their way up the uterine tube through a combination of their own swimming movements, peristaltic contractions of the smooth musculature of the tubal wall and the movement of tubal fluids directed by ciliary activity.

In the upper third of the uterine tube, a few hundred sperm approach the ovulated egg. Only one of them out of the millions that left the male reproductive tract will attain is ultimate goal of fertilizing that egg.

Read full chapter URL:  https://www. sciencedirect. com/science/article/pii/B9780128042540000144.

How fast do sperm swim per hour?

An educational, fair use website

Bibliographic Entry Result (w/surrounding text) Standardized Result
Bray, Dennis. Cell Movements. New York: Garland, 1992: 6. «If the cell has a radius of 1 μm and is traveling at 10 μm/sec, the power consumed is 2 × 10 −11  ergs/sec (2 × 10 −18  J/sec). « 10 μm/s (typical flagellated cell)
Kita, Joe. «Your Privates: An Owner’s Manual. » Men’s Health Magazine. 11, 2 (March 1996): 90. «Sperm: Average Speed: 1–4 millimeters per minute» 17–67 μm/s
Bates, Karl Leif. New Breed of Fertility Therapy. Detroit News. 12 February 1996. «Average swimming speed of sperm: 8 inches per hour or 56. 44 μm/s» 56. 44 μm/s
Van der Berghl, Marc et al. A first prospective study of the individual straight line velocity of the spermatozoon and its influences on the fertilization rate after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Human Reproduction. 13, 11 (November 1998): 3103-3107. «The straight line velocity (VSL) did not have a normal distribution (P < 0. 01) and ranged between 0 and 35 μm/s. " 0–35 μm/s
Moore, R. , M. Wilson & D. Duganzich. Swimming speed and fertilisation rates of ram sperm from high and low prolificacy populations. Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production. 45 (1985): 55-58. «The mean swimming speed of the Waihora ram sperm was slower in both years (99 v 144 μm/s, P < 0. 01, 1981; 11 v 144 μm/s, P < 0. 05, 1982)" 144 μm/s (ram)
Katz, D. & H. Dott. «Methods of measuring swimming speed of spermatozoa. » Journal of Reproductive Fertility. 45, 2 (November 1975): 263-72. «The mean speeds predicted by the ‘probability after’ method compared favourably with the other methods (range 68 μm/s to 162 μm/s). « 68–162 μm/s (bull & ram)

The speed of a sperm cell is never constant and is affected mostly by its physiology and environment. A sperm cell always travels through a liquid medium whether it is within the male or female reproductive systems. It has only one mode of transportation — its flagellum, which is powered by a mitochondrion. The length of the flagellum is one of the factors that determine the swimming speed of the sperm cell.

Also, due to a sperm cell’s tiny size (25 μm) and the fluid-filled environment, the viscosity of the sperm cell’s surroundings produces the greatest effect on its swimming speed rather than inertial forces that larger organisms would encounter.

The Reynolds number of an organism determines how easily viscous drag affects the organism’s motion. This number is equal to the inertial force acting on the object divided by the viscous force acting on it. Cells generally experience a Reynolds number of less than 1.

A sperm cell uses its flagellum, commonly referred to as a «tail», to propel itself toward the female oocyte, or «egg». The flagellum is the longest part of the 25 μm of the cell and surprisingly requires only 2 × 10 −18  watts of power to propel it.

The hydrolysis of a single ATP molecules produces 10 −19  joules of energy so cellular motion requires very little energy expenditure. So why would anyone want to know what the swimming speed of sperm is? If scientists knew the exact or, at least, the approximate value, it could possibly lead to new breakthroughs in contraceptive technology.

If the sperm could chemically be slowed down to a point where it is immobilized and is unable to sustain life functions, the «morning after»pill could become the «right after intercourse»pill. The speed of the sperm would be necessary to know the amount of the chemical inhibitors necessary to immobilize it.

Immobilizing it could also provide scientists with a deeper understanding of the chemical signals exchanged on the surface of the egg when the sperm arrives. Eugene Kogan — 2000

Bibliographic Entry Result (w/surrounding text) Standardized Result
Anderson, Laurie. «Mach 20. » United States Live. CD. Warner Brothers, 1984. «Now some of you may be surprised to learn that if a sperm were the size of a salmon it would be swimming its seven inch journey at five hundred miles per hour. If a sperm were the size of a whale, however, it would be traveling at fifteen thousand miles per hour or Mach 20. « [see below]
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This topic reminded me of the Laurie Anderson song «Mach 20» from her 1984 magnum opus United States Live. Actually the word «song»doesn’t adequately describe this track. Anderson is usually considered a performance artist rather than a musician. «Mach 20» consists of a short spoken segment run through a voice processor with a unique electronic instrument playing a vamp in the background.

The text of the track is a humorous fusion of biology and information science. Ladies and Gentlemen. What you are observing here are magnified examples, or facsimiles, of human sperm. Generation after generation of these tiny creatures have sacrificed themselves in their persistent, often futile attempt to transport the basic male genetic code.

But where’s this information coming from? The have no eyes. No ears. Yet some of them already know that they will be bald. Some of them know that they will have small crooked teeth. Over half of them will end up as women. Four hundred million living creatures, all knowing precisely the same thing.

  1. Carbon copies of each other in a Kamikaze race against the clock;
  2. Now some of you may be surprised to learn that if a sperm were the size of a salmon it would be swimming its seven inch journey at five hundred miles per hour;

If a sperm were the size of a whale, however, it would be traveling at fifteen thousand miles per hour or Mach twenty. Now imagine, if you will, four hundred million blind and desperate sperm whales departing from the Pacific Coast of North America, swimming at fifteen thousand miles per hour, and arriving in Japanese coastal waters in just under forty five minutes.

  1. How would they be received? Would they realize that they were carrying information? A message? Would there be room for so many millions? Would they know that they had been sent for a purpose? [ mp3 ] How accurate is Anderson’s scaling from sperm to salmon to whale? To answer this question, we first need to identify a typical length for each entity;

These values are from one source each, have not been verified, and are certainly open to debate.

  • A typical sperm cell has a 5 μm head on a 50 μm tail for an overall body length of 55 μm *.
  • Chinook salmon were chosen as the representative Pacific salmon. Typical adult chinooks range from 20 to 35 inches in length, which averages to about 70 cm **.
  • A typical sperm whale is about 19 m * long.

The speed of the salmon and whale quoted in «Mach 20″ were divided by the body lengths cited above to obtain the speed in body lengths per second. The results were 320 body lengths per second for the salmon and 353 for the whale. Given the uncertainty and subjectivity in the length values, the first order equality of these numbers is sufficient to validate the equivalence of the scaled speeds of the salmon and whale to each other. That is to say, if a salmon traveling at 500 mph were scaled up to the size of a sperm whale, it would be traveling at something around Mach 20. Now, assume a speed for a sperm cell of 336 body lengths per second; that is, the average of the salmon and whale speeds. Sperm swimming at this speed would cover their » seven inch journey» to the ovum (180 mm) in under ten seconds! The results of this analysis are summarized in the table below.

«Mach 20» Size and Speed Comparisons, Original

 entity body length speed body length/sec
 sperm cell 55 μm * 18,500 μm/s 336
 chinook salmon 70 cm ** 500 mph = 22,400 cm/s 320
 sperm whale 19 m * 15,000 mph = 6,700 m/s 353
Source: *Encyclopædia Britannica, **University of Wisconsin

How fast do sperm swim in terms of body lengths? Given the numbers collected by the student in the essay before this, a reasonable speed would seem to be on the order of 35 μm/s or a little less than two thirds of a body length per second. Scaled up, this corresponds to 45 cm/s (1. 0 mph) for the salmon and 12 m/s (27 mph) for the whale. The results of this corrected analysis are summarized in the table below.

«Mach 20» Size and Speed Comparisons, Corrected

 entity body length speed body length/sec
 sperm cell 55 μm * 35 μm/s 0. 64
 chinook salmon 70 cm ** 1. 0 mph = 45 cm/s 0. 64
 sperm whale 19 m * 27 mph = 12 m/s 0. 64
Source: *Encyclopædia Britannica, **University of Wisconsin

When scaled up, the salmon would be moving as fast as an invalid recovering from surgery and the whale would be moving as fast as a car on a residential street. Since a salmon in the water can easily outpace a human on land and I’ve seen footage of whales swimming alongside moderately fast boats, these numbers are a definite let down. No one would ever bother to tell you them, let alone write a song about them.

Multiplying this number by the length of a sperm yields 18,500 μm/s or 18. 5 mm/s. This is two or three orders of magnitude (100 to 1000 times) faster than the numbers cited in the student essay above. I realize that these are just ballpark figures and it may be that there’s a significant error in one or more of them.

Still, it seems highly unlikely that any new numbers would to conspire to produce speeds anywhere near those claimed in «Mach 20». This raises two questions. First, where did Laurie Anderson get the numbers that later became «Mach 20»? I had always considered her an educated artist, but there’s no reason to believe she’s any more educated in the sciences or more likely to check her facts than anybody else.

Is there anyone among us who can claim never to have indulged in scientific gossip? There’s even a word for such a thing. It’s called a «factoid». In much the same way that science fiction humanoids resemble humans, factoids resemble facts.

Factoids are the science done by «They». You know, «They say that cell phones cause cancer» and other such unsubstatiated rumors. If «Language is a Virus» (the name of another track on United States Live ) then «Mach 20» is surely proof of this. Who infected Laurie Anderson with the «Mach 20» virus? Second, what is the fastest creature when speeds are measured in body lengths per second? Is there maybe even some general relationship between size and speed? This is a topic for further research.

Do sperm swim at different speeds?

Many of the modified X sperm swam at less than half the speed of the Y sperm. And when researchers used only the faster Y sperm for in vitro fertilization, 90% of the mouse pups were born male. Separating out the slowest sperm produced litters that were 81% female.

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