What is CMV and Will it Affect My Pregnancy?
Taking extra precautions in deciding which sperm donor is best for you is expected and encouraged. As such, you have probably come across the term CMV Positive (or CMV Negative) on our donor screening reports. You probably have questions about these terms and if they are something that should concern you.
Let’s discuss what CMV is, why it's okay to use a CMV Positive donor, and how it may affect your pregnancy. We will provide you with all the necessary information to make the experience of finding your perfect donor as stress free and easy-going as possible.
The Facts About CMV
Cytomegalovirus (aka CMV) is a very common virus that can affect anyone. Once infected, your body will retain the virus for life but most people don’t even know they are infected because symptoms and complications rarely occur within healthy people.
When the person passes the initial illness, the virus will lie dormant in their body for the rest of their life, with little risk of a reoccurring or reactivated infection.
Most individuals will have had CMV before turning 50 years old and approximately 50% of people aged 20 have been infected with this common virus. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for CMV but as mentioned, the chances are extremely small for this virus to become active in an individual again.
CMV Positive Donors
We screen all our donors for a wide variety of viruses and genetic disorders, including CMV. When CMV is in the body, specific antibodies can be detected. We accept sperm from donors who have tested IgM negative (do not have an active CMV infection) and IgG positive (who have had a CMV infection before). This means the donor will show as CMV Positive. Although the donor did have CMV before, they are accepted because the virus is not active and not likely to be passed on to others.
Donors who test IgM negative and IgG negative have not had CMV at all and will be accepted as CMV Negative donors.
Donors will be screened for CMV during their initial exam (prior to donating) and again at the end of each of their batch of donations.
Will My Baby Be Affected By CMV?
An infection with CMV is typically harmless. The risk of your developing baby to be infected with CMV is not completely non-existent but it is extremely low. The same goes for you contracting the virus from your donor. Due to our regular donor screening as well as washing of sperm for IUI use, the risk of the virus being in the sperm is considered minuscule.
It is recommended that you speak with your doctor or clinic for advice and have yourself screened to see if you are a carrier of the CMV virus. If you are CMV Negative, it is suggested that you do not use a CMV Positive donor due to the slightly higher chances there are for you to contract the virus or pass it on to your baby.
As mentioned before, it is okay to use a CMV Positive donor and completely up to you to decide, but you should always be aware of the possible outcomes, even if the likelihood is small. If you are CMV Positive yourself, it is almost of no concern to use a donor who is CMV Positive too because the both of you already have the virus in you.
Have you come across the word MOT as well while searching for your favorite donor? Find out what MOT means when it comes to finding the right sperm donor for your treatment.