Fertility preservation during the COVID-19 pandemic: mitigating the viral contamination risk to reproductive cells in cryostorage

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Reproductive BioMedicine Online


Reopening fertility care services across the world in the midst of a pandemic brings with it numerous concerns that need immediate addressing, such as the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on the male and female reproductive cells and the plausible risk of cross-contamination and transmission. Due to the novelty of the disease the literature contains few reports confirming an association of SARS-CoV-2 with reproductive tissues, gametes and embryos. Cryobanking, an essential service in fertility preservation, carries the risk of cross-contamination through cryogenic medium and thus calls for risk-mitigation strategies. This review aims to address the available literature on the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on tissues, gametes and embryos, with special reference to the possible sources of cross-contamination through liquid nitrogen. Strategies for risk mitigation have been extrapolated from reports dealing with other viruses to the current global crisis, for safety in fertility treatment services in general, and specifically for oncofertility.

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