ProfessionalAbout spermScreening of sperm donors

    Screening of sperm donors

    Our extensive screening procedures ensure that only healthy donors with very high sperm quality are accepted into our donor programme.

      All Cryos’ donors have been selected and screened according to Cryos’ extensive quality assurance, operational procedures and policies for donor recruitment, assessment and screening. Only those donor applicants that pass the thorough screening programme become Cryos donors.

      How we screen our sperm donors

      • Initial test of sperm quality.
      • Comprehensive medical and family history questionnaire and an in-depth interview aimed at selecting candidates with no risk behaviour or symptoms of disease.
      • Psychological assessment and physical examination.
      • The donor candidate is karyotyped, and blood type tested. Blood and urine samples are tested for infectious diseases.
      • A genetic carrier test is performed, testing the donor candidate for the most common genetic variants causing frequent serious hereditary diseases.
      • If approved, the donor can start donating.
      • All active donors are at a minimum tested for infectious diseases every 3 months.

      Country specific requirements (Standards)

      Cryos is licensed according to the EU-Tissue Directive and can deliver donor sperm to all EU countries as well as export outside of the EU. Most countries have different legislations regarding the use of sperm donors, including requirements in the selection and screening of sperm donors. We handle this by operating with Standards that fulfil the requirements in the specific countries.

      During the screening process, all sperm donors at Cryos are therefore selected, screened and released for clinical use in specific countries or areas. A donor can be released to meet one or several different Standards.

      In our free online Sperm Donor Search, we only show you donors that comply with the regulations and Standards relevant to your country.

      Learn more about which Standards we operate with.

      What do we test for?

      In the Summary of records (SOR) screening results and Standard release information are listed for all donors. The SOR is subject to change over time due to the continuous testing of the donors.

      We perform a genetic carrier test, testing for the most common genetic variants causing:

      • Cystic fibrosis
      • Hemoglobinopathies (including Alfa thalassemia, Beta thalassemia, and Sickle cell)
      • Spinal muscular atrophy
      • Tay Sachs (depending on the donor’s ethnicity).
      • Non-syndromic deafness (GJB2)

      The SOR is available online and is attached to the order confirmation email. Moreover, a physical copy is included in all shipments.

      How we handle conditions

      In every pregnancy, there is a small risk of having a child with a congenital disease, and in some cases, this might turn out to be inherited. At Cryos, our donors undergo a thorough screening process before being accepted as a donor in order to minimize the risk of the donor passing any serious conditions on to the child.

      Despite our thorough selection and screening procedure, however, the risk of having a child with a medical condition cannot be eliminated. If you receive information about any conditions that might be related to the use of donor sperm from one of our donors, you are obliged to inform Cryos immediately. This is to ensure the safety and well-being of the donors and potential donor-conceived children. Our Clinic Account Team can guide you through the process of reporting the condition, and our genetics team will then assess the information and start an investigation, if needed.

      The purpose of the investigation is to assess if the disease could or could not be related to the donor.

      In some cases, our Genetics team will conclude that the Report of Condition can be rejected and that no further actions are necessary. This is the case if the geneticist assesses that the disease is not related to the donor or that the risk of recurrence in half siblings is not significantly elevated.

      In other cases, the Report of Condition requires further investigation. The donor sperm will then be put in quarantine, as a temporary precaution, while further investigation is carried out.

      Eventually, the conclusion will either be that the Report of Condition can be rejected, or that the donor must be permanently blocked in the donor database. A donor will be permanently blocked if our Genetics team assesses that the condition might be related to the donor. If a donor is permanently blocked, his sperm can only be purchased for sibling treatment.

      If donor straws are put in quarantine, Cryos will notify: 

      • Clinics that have received sperm from this specific donor for treatment 
      • Private clients with an open reservation of donor sperm from this donor. 

      If the donor gets permanently blocked, Cryos will notify all clients (private or professional) who have placed an order for sperm from this donor directly with Cryos. If private clients have placed an order with delivery to your clinic, Cryos will also send the notification to you.

      Do you have questions regarding Genetic Matching?

      Our Clinic Account Team will be happy to answer any questions you might have regarding our screening process. You can also read our scientific research regarding expanded carrier screening of gamete donors, by following the link to our layman summary.