How Long Does It Take to Fertilize an Egg?

For a women to conceive, her egg has to be fertilized. Even when the woman has a healthy egg and the man has healthy sperm, it can still be difficult to conceive. The amount of time that it takes for sperm to fertilize and egg can vary significantly from person to person or case to case.

How Long Does It Take to Fertilize an Egg? 

To have an egg fertilized successfully, you need to have a high enough sperm count. Although a single sperm can in theory fertilize a sperm, a higher sperm count increases the chances. The average, healthy man has an average of 40 million to 150 million sperm. After sexual intercourse, the sperm travel through the vaginal canal to the Fallopian tubes. If an egg is present and ready to be fertilized, the woman will become pregnant. In general, the fastest sperm can swim to the woman’s eggs within 30 minutes. Slower sperm take up to several days to reach the eggs. On average, sperm will only live in the female reproductive organs for about 48 hours to 72 hours. After this time period, they begin to die out.

Although millions of sperm may enter the woman’s body, only a few hundred or less will actually reach the egg. Once it does reach the egg, a single sperm that swam the fastest will penetrate the egg. After this happens, the sperm and egg become a zygote. Rapid cell multiplication leads to the formation of an embryo. This later becomes a fetus, and transforms into a baby after nine months.

How Does Conception Actually Work?

To understand how long it takes for an egg to become fertilized, you have to understand how conception actually works.

Ovulation: Roughly two weeks after the woman’s menstrual cycle restarts, her ovaries realize a mature egg that is ready for fertilization if sperm is present.

Traveling to the Fallopian Tube: Once the egg is released, it travels from the ovaries into the Fallopian tubes. It will remain in this area until a sperm fertilizes it. If sperm does not fertilize the egg, the female’s body will flush out the egg and any tissue when her menstrual cycle begins.

The Journey of the Sperm: Meanwhile, millions of sperm are released when the male ejaculates into the woman. At most, perhaps several hundred of these sperm actually reach the egg within 30 minutes or so after ejaculation.

The Sperm Reaches the Egg: Once a sperm reaches the egg, it penetrates the egg and forms a zygote. After this happens, no other sperm can enter the egg and the baby’s gender is determined by the blend of chromosomes present. The entire fertilization process takes about 24 hours.



Cell Division: Now that the egg is a zygote, it has to start dividing to make an embryo. The fertilized egg travels down the Fallopian tubes to the uterus. If the fertilized egg remains in the Fallopian tubes, it can cause an ectopic pregnancy and can be life threatening for the mother.

Implantation: Once the fertilized egg successfully reaches the uterus, it implants on the uterine wall.

Pregnancy Hormones: The implantation of the egg signals to the woman’s body that she is pregnant. Over the next few weeks, the woman’s levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) increase. Within three to four weeks, the increase in hCG will show up on a pregnancy test and the woman will realize that she is pregnant.

Fetal Development: Within the uterus, the placenta and embryo begin to grow. Over the next few months, the brain, spinal cord and organs start to develop. At eight weeks of age, the embryo officially becomes a fetus.

How Can You Increase Your Chances of Conceiving?

Quit Smoking: Smoking lowers fertility in men and women. It also increases the chances of damage to the fetus in pregnant woman and heightens the risks of a miscarriage.

Protect Sperm: For the best chances of conceiving, men need to have a high sperm count. Avoiding saunas, hot tubs, hot showers and close-fitting underwear will help men to keep their sperm levels up.

Watch Your Weight: A healthy weight and solid exercise routine will help you to become pregnant.

Track Your Ovulation: For the best chances of becoming pregnant, you have to have sex during times when you are ovulating. Start having sex three days before ovulation and continue until your basal temperature goes back to normal.

Watch Out for Harmful Exposure: Chemicals, toxins and environmental contaminants can decrease your chances of becoming pregnant. Common toxins are found in printing presses, dry cleaners, agricultural pesticides and cleaning agents. To have the best chance of becoming pregnant, you need to avoid all sources of chemicals and environmental contaminants.

Have More Sex: Although you can track ovulation and be somewhat accurate, it is always possible that your body could release an egg at any time of the month. To have the best chance of becoming pregnant, relax and have sex frequently, This increases the chances that you will become pregnant, and it can be enjoyable for both partners.

Watch What You Drink: Excessive amounts of alcohol or coffee can decrease your chances of becoming pregnant. You should either avoid caffeine or alcohol completely or drink moderately if you want to become pregnant.

Be Careful About Your Lubricants: Some lubricants use spermicides, which actually kill off the sperm that could make you pregnant. Water-based lubricants can also slow down the sperm. Stick to olive or coconut oil if you need a lubricant.


SHARE
Previous articleVinegar Foot Soak
Next articleLow Lymphocytes

56 COMMENTS

  1. I am so confused! Okay so im going to be really specific hope its not t.m.i so first off i have a 17 month old that i still breastfeed mostly naps n night time so my period has been irregular but i had what i felt was a normal period March 11 n lasted 6 days prior to my cycle i might of had sex once the week before but 3 days after my cycle stopped i started lightly spotting only when i wipped that night it started i had sex n then 2 days later on March 22 I went to the doc n she ended up calling me when i got home n said the test came back positive but it took a while n was lite so 2 days later i went back to doc on 24 n another positive all this time im still spotting but sometimes mucus blood n sometimes lite pink then on the 25 i had some clots so i instantly went to hospital n they did a blood test n said my hcg level is 54 n that im possible aweek or two today is the 27th n still spotting but only clots that one time they warned mybi may be experencing a miscarriage but is it possible that i got pregnant on the 20th the last time i had sex n it showed up 2 days later?

    • It seemed like you commented twice on this one. I have to answer and approve each comment individually, so it may take me a little while to answer all of them. If you do not see a response right away, do not worry because you will. Read through my last response and let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I am so confused! Okay so im going to be really specific hope its not t.m.i so first off i have a 17 month old that i still breastfeed mostly naps n night time so my period has been irregular but i had what i felt was a normal period March 11 n lasted 6 days prior to my cycle i might of had sex once the week before but 3 days after my cycle stopped i started lightly spotting only when i wipped that night it started i had sex n then 2 days later on March 22 I went to the doc n she ended up calling me when i got home n said the test came back positive but it took a while n was lite so 2 days later i went back to doc on 24 n another positive all this time im still spotting but sometimes mucus blood n sometimes lite pink then on the 25 i had some clots so i instantly went to hospital n they did a blood test n said my hcg level is 54 n that im possible aweek or two today is the 27th n still spotting but only clots that one time they warned mybi may be experencing a miscarriage but is it possible that i got pregnant on the 20th the last time i had sex n it showed up 2 days later?

    • It is unlikely that you had a positive pregnancy test two days after conceiving, so you probably conceived earlier than that. As for the threatened miscarriage, all you can really do at the moment is wait and see what happens. Keep in touch with your doctor and return to your doctor if you experience any unusual or more severe symptoms. Hopefully, your body will be able to work things out without a problem.

  3. My cycle started Feb.20 or 21. March 5th I had sex and March 7-10 I was spotting. Not enough to get on a pad, but was present t when I wiped. I normally have a 28 day cycle.Could I be pregnant?

    • It seemed like you commented twice on this one. I have to answer and approve each comment individually, so it may take me a little while to answer all of them. If you do not see a response right away, do not worry because you will. Read through my last response and let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for commenting!

  4. My cycle started Feb.20 or 21. March 5th I had sex and March 7-10 I was spotting. Not enough to get on a pad, but was present t when I wiped. I normally have a 28 day cycle.

    • It is possible that you experienced implantation bleeding and could be pregnant. It is also possible that it was just breakthrough bleeding and a slightly irregular cycle. Since you could be pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test. Your menstrual cycle should have started about a week ago, so it should be late enough for you to take a pregnancy test and have it be accurate. Good luck, Sunshyne!

  5. I had sex on 27 January and saw my period on 3 February,I started having some signs of pregnancy and later went 4 a test on 8th march bt d result was negative, bt i’m still having some signs. does it mean i’m pregnant?

    • You are most likely not pregnant. Some of the signs could be due to an illness. Premenstrual syndrome also causes many of the same symptoms as early pregnancy, so that could be the cause as well. We actually have an article on Med Health Daily that compares PMS to early pregnancy, so you may want to check it out. Good luck, Blaze!

  6. Hello,
    First I want to say Thank your site has been very helpful.I only regret not finding it earlier.My last day of period was on 21 feb 2017.I have a regular 28 days cycle.according to your calculator my ovulation day was 7th March. Embryo arrives tube on 13 if there was any egg.there is another blood progesterone ovulation on 14th.If I didt have sex on 7th my big o day.and had sex on 14th can that get me pregnant?does it count?no period yet.

    • If you ovulated on the 7th, then you could have only become pregnant on that day or the day after. There is still a chance that you could be pregnant though. While the 7th is when you most likely ovulated, this day could vary based on your health, stress and other lifestyle factors. Since your period was already supposed to start, you could easily find out for sure by taking a pregnancy test to see if you are pregnant. Your cycle may just be irregular this month, but it is also possible that you could be pregnant. Take a test and find out for sure.

  7. I have irregular cycles. lmp was 19th Feb. I don’t expect to have periods before 30th March. trying to conceive. fertility chart said I could hv been ovulating on 14th March. I had various discharges through the last week. had sex 2 nights ago. discharge is very watery for 2 days. is it semen or am I ovulating? can I still get pregnant.

    • It is possible that you are pregnant. It is not likely that semen has not been leaving your body for the last two days. Continue to monitor the experiences that you are having for additional signs of pregnancy. Take a pregnancy test five days after your normal period date. Confirm your result with a medical professional. Best of luck, Ash!

  8. My cycles are regular 28 days I’m 37 we have been trying to conceive for the last 3 mos for the 1st time since our mmc February of last year My Lmp this cycle was 3/8/17 we had sex so far on the 14th 17th 18th and 19th. Does it sound like we have a chance this cycle?

    • It is certainly possible for you to become pregnant at this time. Reduce stress in your life if you want to increase your chances of pregnancy. Continue to monitor the experiences that you are having for additional signs of pregnancy. If you miss your period, then take a pregnancy test five days after your normal period date. Confirm your result with your medical professional. Best of luck, Mommy!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here