In vitro fertilization basics part 38

Longer term risks and in vitro fertilization

  • Sperm and embryo storage

Frozen sperm and embryos are stored in thin plastic straws immersed in liquid nitrogen. Cross-contamination of straws by viruses such as Hepatitis or HIV is a theoritical risk although it has never been reported. 

There is a very small risk that a liquid nitrogen bank will fail, causing the sperm or embryos stored in it to perish. Bank failure has been reported occasionally around the world.

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