Image Credit: Air Products PLC
Developments and research are ongoing, but there have already been considerable advancements in reproductive medicine over recent years. More options are available than ever before in terms of the management and potential treatment of infertility, while new and innovative alternatives are increasingly available for people unable to conceive or at risk of becoming sterile.
Cryogenics offers a potential advantage to this work. As well as advancements in health and fertility treatments, a range of contemporary developments in the use of cryogenics have led to countless benefits.
One popular use of cryogenics lies in vitro fertilization (IVF). This process sees sperm, embryos, and oocytes frozen and preserved for use in later fertility treatments. Cryogenics plays a central role in this process, facilitating the safe storage of these important samples.
In vitro fertilization
IVF is an infertility treatment primarily offered to individuals with conditions like endometriosis, fallopian tube damage or blockage, impaired sperm production or other genetic disorders that have the potential to hinder fertility. IVF involves six key stages:
- Suppressing the menstrual cycle
- Boosting egg production from the ovaries
- Progress monitoring and maturing of eggs
- Collection of eggs
- Fertilization of eggs
- Transference of embryos to the womb
Cryogenics can be utilized for the storage of eggs following collection. It can also be used with embryos once these have been fertilized or are ready for thawing ahead of the procedure continuing.
Why use cryogenics?
Employing cryogenics in fertility treatment offers new options in reproductive medicine while being a critical factor in the success of IVF procedures. Cryopreservation can effectively freeze time, enabling the long‐term storage of precious samples ready for use in the future.
It may be necessary to use cryopreservation techniques in sample storage for a range of reasons. People expecting a treatment that poses a risk of infertility; for example, cancer treatment that may reduce the ovarian reserve or prevent sperm production following chemotherapy may want to preserve these samples prior to treatment beginning.
Another reason is a large number of embryos being available after the initial stages of IVF. Once the collected eggs have been fertilized, more embryos may be created than required. These extra embryos can be stored to reduce waste.
Cryogenically freezing reproductive samples using MVE freezers like those provided by Air Products ensures that effective sample security is maintained. This is made possible by the freezers’ ability to maintain cryogenic temperatures for up to 5 days with no power or a liquid nitrogen supply.
Efficient use of the cooling properties of liquid nitrogen allows running costs to be kept to a minimum. Liquid nitrogen from Air Products for Life Science is MDD certified to the ISO13485 Medical Device Directive standard.
Air Products is a market leader in the cryogenics sector. The company has the expertise and knowledge to assist with storage needs at any stage of a project.
About Air Products PLC
Air Products touch the lives of consumers around the globe in positive ways every day. With approximately 16,000 employees and operations in 50 countries, we serve customers across a wide range of industries from food and beverage to medical, energy, and transportation. We supply a unique portfolio of atmospheric and process gases, equipment, and services.
Founded in 1940, Air Products has built a reputation for its innovative culture, operational excellence, and commitment to safety and the environment. Our passionate, talented, and committed employees from a diversity of backgrounds are driven by Air Products’ higher purpose to create innovative solutions that benefit the environment, enhance sustainability and address the challenges facing customers, communities, and the world.
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