PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sperm bank. Several microtubules (or straws) of cryogenically-stored sperm in a tank containing liquid nitrogen. This keeps the sperm at -196 degrees Celsius. After a sample is removed and thawed, the most healthy sperm cells are selected and used for in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to treat infertile couples. The sperm is introduced to the egg in a laboratory. If fertilisation is successful, the resulting embryo is implanted directly into the mother's uterus. Storage of frozen sperm can preserve a man's ability to have children if his fertility is threatened by a disease such as testicular cancer.
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