Cryopreservation

Cryopreservation is the technology of using subzero freezing on human cells. This technique can be used on sperm or embryos. They can remain frozen indefinitely, but most people choose to eventually thaw them and implant them for another pregnancy.

The technique used to freeze either sperm or embryos is basically the same. The sperm or embryos are placed in a special cryoprotectant solution, sort of like antifreeze. The purpose of this substance is to insulate and protect the fragile human cells. The sperm or embryos are then suctioned into a small plastic freezing straw, and the straw is sealed at both ends. The filled straws are then placed in a tank of liquid nitrogen and gradually frozen.

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