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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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How long can sperm live on your hand once it has been wiped off

Resolved Question:

I have tried to find a definitive answer to this on the web but everything I've read seems to vary. Due to a personal situation I would be grateful if you could help me answer the following question: - If a small amount of semen gets on your hand and you wipe it off (but do not wash it off) and say ten minutes or fifteen minutes later your hands are completely dry to look at or to touch, then could there be any living sperm still on your hand or are they all dead?
I would be most obliged if you could please let me know. Many thanks in advance.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
You're right, this is a difficult subject to answer, because no one has really studied this scientifically.

Thus, all the answers you will read say something along the lines of "sperm will live longer at body temperature, at a neutral pH" etc, but won't give you a exact time frame.

This one study compares sperm life after ejaculation in a glass container vs a condom:
http://humupd.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/5/3/211

The condom, which is not room temperature, had much less sperm survive (10% at 1 hour, and nearly 0% at 3 hours), so one could extrapolate that to your hand.

At 10-15 minutes, there should still be a small percentage of sperm on your hand that would be motile (and alive), though if your hand is dried off (so that the sperm is not in the ejaculate), one would expect the sperm to die relatively quickly.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for your reply. The main query I have is that a small amount of semen was on my hand but it was wiped off. Fifteen minutes later my hands were completely dry both to touch and to look at. In this instance is it possible for sperm to survive, microscopic amounts that is, or would they be dead given that there s no semen to keep them motile?
Thanks in advance.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
It is possible, theoretically, to have motile sperm, but very unlikely, given that you hand was wiped dry.
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