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A 23-year-old male asked:

If a egg is available and sperm is deposited in the vagina, do fertilization start immediately? or do it take awhile for sperm to reach the egg?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Traub
Fertility Medicine 19 years experience
No: The egg must be picked up by the tube, the sperm must travel forward into the tube. Then fertilization occurs there. So usually takes a few days.
Dr. Jay Nemiro
Fertility Medicine 45 years experience
Very quick: Studies have shown that sperm can get up into the fallopian tubes within three minutes of ejaculation in the vagina. Although the egg lives for 12-24 hrs, sperm swim from the vagina into the cervical mucous and live for 3-4 days and "shower" the fallopian tube during that period. At any one time 100-200 sperm can can found in the fallopian tube; but it takes millions to get that job done.

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Last updated Dec 25, 2013

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