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What is enough to kill sperm/get rid of it for it to not cause pregnancy?

By Anonymous November 11, 2015 - 10:11am
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I understand that sperm dies within several minutes of being outside the body but what I am unsure if it what gets rid of/kills it. Say you had fresh sperm on your hand and you simply wiped it on a dry cloth. Wiping it away made the hand dry, and the white substance disappear. But what I want to know is that if wiping it away Is enough to get rid of it, and once the white substance is not there, does that mean there's no sperm left on your hand? As I believe sperm is microscopic. Thanks in advance!

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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER and thank you for your question.

Sperm, which is the male reproductive cell, is microscopic and has a limited life span of about 20 minutes once outside the body.

Washing semen off with warm water and soap is more effective than wiping it away with a dry cloth. But, either way of removing the semen does remove the sperm. Once semen is dry you can assume sperm is dead.

Spermicide is a substance that contains chemicals, such as nonoxynol-9, that immobilize or kill sperm. Spermicide is put into the vagina before sex to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. Spermicide is available without a prescription and comes in many forms, including cream, gel, foam, film, suppository and tablet.

Spermicide isn't a highly effective birth control method when used alone. However, spermicide can also be used with a barrier method — such as a condom, diaphragm or cervical cap — to prevent pregnancy.


November 11, 2015 - 10:23am
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