Semen Goes Where?

Originally Published: October 18, 1996 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: May 31, 2012
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Dear Alice,

I was just wondering what happens to semen after it has been ejaculated into a woman's vagina. Does it just stay there until it dies, or does it seep out? If it stays in, what happens to it once it dies?

Prude and Wondering

Dear Prude and Wondering,

Semen (the fluid that carries sperm), if ejaculated into the vagina, could either travel farther into the vagina, or seep out and eventually dry up, or both. Semen that remains in the body will carry sperm that can survive for approximately three to five days.

When semen evaporates in the open air, the sperm it contains die. Some women use mini-pads advertised for "light day periods" when they are out, and about, to help absorb the semen that seeps from the vagina.

P.S.: Alice has researched long and hard to find out the exact or approximate amount of time (i.e., seconds, minutes, hours) it takes for semen to dry up once outside the body, thereby ensuring sperm are also dead. The exact time is not available since it depends on many factors, such as the surrounding environment (i.e., humidity, temperature), body temperature, consistency (if semen is spread thickly or thinly on the skin), and location (where the semen is on the body).

Alice hopes the answer is still useful to you.