We’ve all heard the rumors about sperm – pineapples, hot water, allergic ladies. But what is the truth? We met with experts and clarified the facts.
It’s fast and furious from the start
Get this: The first moment of ejaculation contains the highest concentration of sperm, says urologist Harry Fish, MD, clinical professor of reproductive medicine at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College.
It sticks around longer than you think
Sperm usually stay in your body for 48 hours after sex, but depending on how “friendly” your cervical mucus is, “it can last anywhere from five days to a week,” says Fish. Interestingly, cervical mucus protects sperm and helps them stay in the body longer when you ovulate when you’re fertile.
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More sex or masturbation does not lower a man’s sperm count
Carrie Wambach, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Fertility Center of Southern California in Los Angeles, says don’t worry that she has a limited pool of swimmers to use. That said, frequent ejaculations can reduce volume, but if the sperm count is normal, it won’t have much of an effect, he says.
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The temperature can lower his sperm count
His semen seems to fluctuate with the seasons. “Sperm counts are lowest in the summer months and highest in the winter months,” says Fish, because exposure to heat lowers sperm counts. Overheating can be something as innocuous as your man holding a hot Macbook on his lap or the two of you relaxing in a hot tub. “Sperm counts can drop dramatically in hot tubs at 104 degrees or higher,” warns Fish. In fact, this reduction can last for months after extreme exposure to high temperatures. “I tell my patients, if you’re trying to have a baby, don’t take a hot bath.” Of course, do not assume that you are completely safe from pregnancy after bathing. “It’s not birth control,” she laughs.