25th August 2016
Many patients come to CRGH, concerned not only about preserving their fertility through freezing their eggs, sperm, or embryos but also about what happens to these frozen gametes/embryos once that procedure is done.
So, what’s the story?
Frozen eggs, sperm, and embryos are all stored in special containers in liquid nitrogen. In most cases, the facility in which the patient had the procedure carried out is also the facility that stores the frozen gametes/embryos, but this is not a requirement.
Typically, gametes/embryos are stored for a period of up to ten years, though in special medical circumstances, this period may be extended. As gametes/embryos may be stored for such long periods, it is important that patients keep in contact with the clinic in case of address or consent changes.
In some cases, patients wish to move their frozen gametes/embryos from one facility to another – and this is something that CRGH is more than happy to assist you with. As long as all UK laws and regulations are followed, we will gladly see to it that your frozen gametes/embryos are transferred to or from our facilities. You’ll just need to sign a consent form to implement the transfer of your frozen gametes/embryos.
There is also a process for the export and import of frozen gametes/embryos to and from licensed fertility clinics outside of the UK. If this is something you are interested in, rest assured that the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) has set certain criteria that must be met before any transfer can be completed. The UK fertility clinic – in this case, us – will need to make sure that the particular transfer meets the HFEA standards.