Posted on: 16/09/21
Currently, the storage limit for frozen eggs, sperm and embryos is 10 years before they have to be destroyed, restricting when individuals and couples can have children. However, this may all be about to change.
The government have announced plans to increase the number of years eggs, sperm and embryos can be stored to 55 years, as modern freezing techniques, such as liquid nitrogen storage reduces the deterioration of frozen cells.
Extra consideration is being taken concerning third-party donors and the use of a deceased persons frozen cells, but plans will be unveiled shortly.
British Fertility Society Chairman, Dr Raj Mathur welcomed the plans.
He said extending the time limit "protects the ability of all our patients to make reproductive choices for themselves as individuals and couples."
What happens during the freezing process?
Many individuals and couples choose to preserve fertility by collecting eggs, sperm and embryos and storing them, so that they can have a baby at a later date.
Typically, for women, 15 eggs are collected through IVF and then cooled quickly, before being stored in tanks of liquid nitrogen.
Once required, the eggs will be thawed and those that have survived intact will be injected with sperm.
For men, sperm samples are divided between a number of containers called staws, before freezing so they can be used across multiple treatments.
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