Reproduction & Sexuality

How long does the egg (ovum) live?
An egg lives for approximately twelve to twenty-four hours. This means that during this twelve to twenty four hours the egg is "receptive" to sperm and conception may occur.

How long does sperm live?
Sperm can live for up to seven days inside a woman's vagina. It is unknown how long sperm can live "in the air".

Will it hurt the first time I have intercourse?
Lots of women worry that it will hurt the first time they have intercourse. There are many things that can be done to make the first time easier and more pleasurable. Communicating with your partner before, during and after intercourse is very important. Foreplay can make the first time enjoyable as well. Foreplay is an important part of sex as it allows for intimacy and for a woman's vagina to create it's own lubrication (although she usually only creates enough lubrication for about 3 minutes of penetration). It's never a bad idea to add extra lube; a lubricant like Astroglide or KY-Jelly (which can be bought at a pharmacy or sexual health store) can also be used to make penetration more enjoyable (and also lowers risks of irritation which then lowers STI transmition= lube is your friend!).

Should I have an orgasm every time I have sex?
No, an orgasm is not the end result of every sexual activity a person engages in. Some times sexual activity may mean just having the opportunity to be close and intimate with another person. For some people orgasms may be the goal of every sexual contact and for others it is not. It is important to be clear with your partner of what your expectations are when engaging in any form of sexual activity and what is comfortable and enjoyable to you.


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Insight Theatre, a Planned Parenthood Ottawa program, is a unique non-profit, public education theatre program created by, for and about youth.