Three Things to Remember When Ordering Donor Sperm


As promised, each Thursday, we will now offer you a piece of educational, science, or research related information. The purpose of our #ThursdayThoughts post is to share with you fact-based content that can enlighten and assist you on your fertility journey. Enjoy our post! Helping to Create New Beginnings….

Three Things to Remember When Ordering Donor Sperm

Choosing a sperm donor for your treatments may be exciting and, at the same time, a little intimidating as there are many options to choose from.  There are 3 clinically important considerations to keep in mind while choosing a sperm donor.

Cryobanks typically divide donors into CMV positive and CMV negative donors.  Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that is transmitted from person to person by exposure to body fluids (ex. saliva, urine, semen).  It is estimated that 50-85% of adults have been exposed to CMV at some point in their life and would test positive for CMV antibodies.  In most healthy adults, CMV infection results in a short flu-like illness, however, when a pregnant woman becomes infected for the first time, there is a small chance that the virus may affect the unborn child leading to neurologic abnormalities (eg, progressive hearing and/or visual loss, cognitive impairment).  To decrease this risk, CMV negative patients are advised to select a sperm donor who is CMV negative.  CMV positive patients can choose either CMV positive or negative sperm donor. 

Many cryobanks nowadays screen their donors for abnormal genes they may carry with expanded genetic carrier screening panels (e.g Sema4, Myriad Foresight Panel, Natera).  If you’ve done a genetic carrier screening test in the past and know that you are a carrier of a condition, choose a donor who tested negative for that condition.  If you don’t know what your status is, it is safer to choose a donor with negative expanded carrier screening.

We advise all of our patients to review their final donor sperm selection with our providers prior to purchasing donor sperm, as there may always be individual additional recommendations.  If you are interested in donor sperm intrauterine inseminations (IUI), please contact Fertility Institute of Hawaii at 808-545-2400.  We would be honored to be a part of your fertility journey! 

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