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The best care for your frozen embryos, eggs or sperm

Alison Campbell, CARE’s Director of Embryology, explains how we diligently look after your frozen eggs, embryos and sperm.  


Want to know more about embryo freezing and storage? We’ve answered some of your frequently asked questions.

 

In the greatly uncertain time of the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to reassure you that our Embryologists are taking care of your precious frozen embryos, eggs and sperm, just as we always do.

 

How are these samples stored?

Frozen embryos, eggs and sperm are stored individually in precisely-labelled straws. A patient’s straws are usually kept together in another small, labelled container, and these are stored in specialised tanks, called Dewars, in liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen has a very low temperature of -196 degrees Celsius, and has a wide range of applications, including the cryopreservation of tissues and cells, like eggs, sperm and embryos. 

Liquid nitrogen is produced from the air in a production process that is generally performed industrially. We have this liquid nitrogen delivered to our clinics; however, as the liquid is so critical, we always have additional reserves in the clinic, and several of our clinics even have the facility to generate liquid nitrogen in-house.

 

A CARE Embryologist prepares an embryo for freezing in liquid nitrogen. Using a pipette and a very steady hand, the Embryologist is carefully transferring the embryo onto the tip of its storage straw. 
Read more about how we freeze and thaw your embryos.

 

Are the Cryo-storage tanks safe and alarmed?

All our Cryo-storage tanks are stored in a special Cryo-laboratory with high security and restricted access. Each tank is fitted with continuous monitoring systems and alarms, and if the conditions inside the tank changed, our Embryologists would be immediately alerted, night or day. Emergency procedures and back-up tanks are in place in all clinics, should they be required.

 

What do Embryologists do to protect my frozen samples?

Our tanks are each monitored independently several times a week, with our Embryologists measuring the level of liquid nitrogen within each tank and adding more as required, all to ensure that the conditions inside the tank are optimal for the safety of your samples.

Embryologists take this role and responsibility very seriously. We know that these tiny cells have huge meaning for our patients. We treat them with care and respect, and we know and understand that many of them will, one day, become your babies.  

 

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