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How Can a Woman Feel When Sperm Enters the Cervix?

There is no surefire way to feel when sperm reaches and fertilizes an egg. However, women can monitor their body for signs of conception such as changes in vaginal discharge or odor, cramping, and light bleeding.

Women can also rely on certain bodily sensations such as the pulses of their penis during sexual intercourse. Additionally, they can also pay attention to their stomach post-sexual intercourse.

Vaginal Tract

The vagina is the tube that connects the vulva to the uterus. It’s where babies exit during birth and where menstrual blood flows during your period. It’s also where you can insert a penis, finger, female condom, sex toy or tampon. It’s covered by a thin membrane called the hymen, which is stretched during sexual activity and when you insert a tampon.

The walls of the vagina are made of muscle tissue. They have a weak inner circular layer and a stronger outer longitudinal layer. Covering the muscles is a sheath of lining tissues that includes blood vessels, lymphatic ducts and nerve fibres. It also contains two fornixes, the anterior and posterior.

For the lucky few sperm that make it into the vaginal canal during penis-in-vaginal sex, there’s an uphill battle to reach the egg and be fertilized. The vaginal tract is a complicated maze of muscular walls, a thick mucus barrier and cervical crypts where sperm can die.

For sperm to survive and reach the egg, they need to beat a path through all of these obstacles in a very short time frame. In a recent essay for Aeon, a writer described the journey as more like a military obstacle course than a standard race. It’s not unusual for sperm to die in the vagina before they can reach the egg.

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Penis

The penis, which usually hangs limp, becomes stiff and erect (an erection) during sexual arousal. It has a duct that transports either urine or semen, which is a mixture of sperm cells and a milky fluid called seminal plasma. The ducts run from the testes, through the epididymis and the vas deferens, and into the urethra.

The testes are where sperm cells are produced, and they connect to the rest of the male reproductive organs through a long tube called the vas deferens. The coiled structures in the testes that produce sperm are called seminiferous tubules. Each of these tubes extends from the testicle to the epididymis, where they join a duct called the ductus deferens at the ampulla, which leads to one or more of the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland. The vesicles and prostate gland make the whitish fluid that mixes with sperm to form semen.

During sexual arousal, the vas deferens transports mature sperm to the urethra in preparation for ejaculation. A man can feel this process as it occurs because the groin and lower abdomen are sensitive. The feeling grows in intensity until the man orgasms and ejaculates semen. The semen contains millions of sperm cells that enter the woman’s fallopian tube where fertilization can occur. The body’s natural ability to recognize fertilized eggs can lead to pregnancy, but using protection during sexual activity and open communication with partners can help reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy or STIs.

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Stomach

A man ejaculates semen from the penis during sexual intercourse. The fluid carries millions of sperms and flows through the vagina into the fallopian tubes. The sperm swims up through the cervix and finds an egg in the fallopian tube. Fertilization of the egg gives rise to pregnancy. The fertilized egg (now called a zygote) travels down the fallopian tube and buries itself in the uterus. Some women can feel implantation, but others may not.

The egg can be fertilized even 3-5 days after a woman ejaculates. The sperm enters the egg through the fallopian tube and competes with hundreds of other sperm cells to reach it. Once one sperm cell successfully penetrates the membrane and enters the cytoplasm, it releases its own chromosomes into the egg. The chromosomes of the egg and sperm fuse and become a single fertilized egg (also called an embryo).

While a woman can feel sperm in her body, she cannot feel when sperm reaches the egg and fuses with it. This process is known as implantation and can only be confirmed by a positive pregnancy test.

Some women might feel their stomach ache after sexual intercourse. This is usually caused by sexual positions such as missionary and doggy style during anal sex. These sexual positions allow deep penetration, leading to a uterine contraction and the release of semen. Some women might also experience a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area and fatigue.

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Cervix

The cervix is an elastic canal that opens into the uterus. It has glands that produce cervical fluid, which is very sticky (G mucus). This presents an impenetrable barrier to sperm until around ovulation. Then it liquefies and becomes much more amenable to penetration.

A lucky sperm can invade the cervix and reach the egg. This is a very difficult journey for the sperm, which must fight to penetrate the egg’s tough outer membrane, called the zona pellucida. If they fail to make this arduous and highly selective connection, pregnancy will never happen.

If the sperm survive, they must next enter the egg’s fallopian tube. This is a narrow and winding passage. In some cases, the sperm will be able to crawl along it toward the end of the tube, where it meets up with an egg that has been waiting patiently. The sperm and the egg must then both fight to break through a thick layer of cell walls that protects the womb (the ampullary-isthmic tube).

Only one of the million sperms released in ejaculation will be able to find an egg and penetrate it. Even this does not guarantee pregnancy, however, as a number of other factors must play a role. One of these is the quality of the sperm. The sperm needs to be “prepped” through a process called capacitation.