Life of sperm in uterus:
Sperm live inside a vagina for about three to five days. The important thing about your question is that if you have sex without using contraception up to five days before an egg bursts from the ovary (ovulation), the egg could be fertilized. For example, you could have sex on Monday and fertilize an egg that is not released until Friday. The egg, on the other hand, has a much shorter lifespan -- about twenty-four hours. So, having sex right before ovulation -- and up to one day afterward -- would be prime for fertilization. Whether or not you want that to happen is another story....
At room temperature:
When sperm are processed and maintained under strict laboratory conditions in a nutrient medium, they can remain alive for up to seven days. Room temperature is best. Sperm samples collected into a sterile container may remain alive for many hours, but their fertilizing capability drops dramatically after 60 minutes. Sperm exposed to room air on clothing, bed linens or toilet seats lose motility (the ability to swim) rapidly. Once the semen dries out, the sperm are usually dead.
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