All egg and sperm donors at Cryos have been thoroughly screened to minimize the risk of a child inheriting a genetic disease. But the genetic compatibility between the genetic parent and a donor of course plays a part too. By using our Genetic Matching services, you and your patients can find donor gametes that are genetically compatible with your patient’s eggs or sperm.
At Cryos, we want to help you give your patients the best possible chances for having a healthy child. By thoroughly testing and screening all donor candidates, we put a lot of resources into minimizing the risk related to the use of donor eggs or sperm. But the risk of a child inheriting a genetic disease is not isolated to the donor. The genes of the genetic parent providing the other half of the genes of course play a part too. By also comparing these genes to a chosen donor, your patient will get even more assurance regarding the genes that are passed on to the child. That is why we offer Genetic Matching.
What is Genetic Matching?
Genetic Matching is an optional add-on when choosing a donor at Cryos. By using our Genetic Matching services, you can find out whether the genes of your patient and a particular donor are a good match before performing fertility treatment. If the test shows that they are not a good match and that your patient will face an increased risk of passing on diseases to a child if proceeding with the chosen donor, your patient can, free of charge, choose a new donor to be matched up against.
To avoid that the chosen donor is sold out while waiting for the Genetic Matching result, we highly recommend that you place an order of at least 3 sperm straws or 6 donor eggs at the same time as ordering Genetic Matching. Just make sure to choose the latest possible shipping date, so your order will not be shipped before you have the test result. You will get the result within 6 weeks, and if it is a no-match, you can terminate your order and get a refund.
Below you can learn more about why and how to order Genetic Matching.
Different Genetic Matching services – including match guarantee
At Cryos, we offer different Genetic Matching services depending on your patient’s situation and needs.
Single Gene Matching – Get to know if the donor carries a variant in the same gene as your patient
The Single Gene Matching solution is for people who already know that the genetic parent is a carrier of a recessive genetic disease and want to be sure that the donor they choose is not a carrier of a mutation in the same gene.
To perform this type of matching, we need you to provide documentation of your patient’s carrier status and let us know which gene(s) to look at. With Single Gene Matching, we offer to test up to 3 genes.
If the genetic parent is a known carrier of a recessive genetic disease, we highly recommend that you inform your patient about the possibility of Single Gene Matching.
Panel Matching – Broad matching of more than 300 genes
The Panel Matching solution is for people who would like to get a broad and general matching for genetic diseases with recessive inheritance. With Genetic Panel Matching, we will match more than 300 of the genetic parent’s recessive genes up against the genes of the chosen donor.
To do this, all we need is a saliva sample that the genetic parent can make at home. We will send the genetic parent a test kit by mail once we have received the payment.
Double Donor Matching - If your patient needs both donor eggs and donor sperm
Double Donor Matching is only relevant for patients having fertility treatment with both donor eggs and donor sperm from Cryos (double donation). Please make sure to select an egg and a sperm donor who are both ready for Genetic Matching (you can select Genetic Matching as a filter when searching for donors).
When choosing Double Donor Matching, all you have to do is to purchase this service and let us know which two donors you want us to match – and then we will do the rest. We recommend that you make a separate order of the needed sperm straws and donor eggs after completing your Genetic Matching order. It is not possible to add straws from both donors to an order of Double Donor Matching.
What are the costs of Genetic Matching?
Genetic Matching is an optional add-on when ordering donor sperm or eggs from Cryos. The price of this service depends on which type of Genetic Matching you choose. Besides the added costs, all that is required is either a saliva sample from your patient or documentation of your patient’s known carrier status, depending on which service you choose.
What does the Genetic Matching result mean?
No matter which of our Genetic Matching services you choose, the result will either be ‘a match’ or ‘a no-match’.
If the donor is a no-match
If the chosen donor turns out to be a ‘no-match,’ you can, free of charge, choose a new donor to match the genetic parent’s genes up against.
If the donor is a match
If you receive a match, it means that the genetic parent and the donor do not carry any of the same variants within the tested genes, and you can go ahead and perform the treatment using this donor’s sperm or eggs. If you reserved straws while ordering Genetic Matching, you can log in to your Cryos account and request delivery.
How to order Genetic Matching of a Cryos donor
1. Search for a donor available for Genetic Matching (you can add Genetic Matching as a filter)
2. Once you have chosen a donor, go to the donor profile online. If Single Gene or Panel Matching: Add the number of straws you want to order in your cart (we recommend ordering at least 3 sperm straws or 6 eggs)
3. Then choose which of our Genetic Matching services you want (Single Gene, Panel Matching, or Double Donor Matching) and add to the cart
4. Continue to checkout and fill out the required information about the genetic parent (or second donor if Double Donor Matching)
If Single Gene Matching: Upload documentation of your patient’s known carrier status
If Double Donor Matching: Choose which other donor you want us to match with
5. Make sure not to request delivery until the match result comes in (this can take up to 6 weeks)
6. Finalize your order
7. Only for Panel Matching: Once we receive the payment, we will send a test kit and instructions by mail so the genetic parent can make a saliva sample. When the sample is done, it must be sent to our cooperating partners, using the accompanying packaging and shipping label, or to Cryos who will then forward it.
Within approximately 6 weeks, our Clinic Account Team will contact you with the result to let you know whether the donor is a match or not. You will also receive documentation of the test result via email.
Why do genetic testing before a pregnancy?
Even though we feel healthy and well, the fact is that all human beings are carriers of an unknown number of recessive gene variants (mutations) that might be passed on to our children. Most people do not know what they are carriers of and will never be affected by it.
A child conceived with donor sperm or eggs will inherit half of its genes from the donor and half of its genes from the genetic parent (or second donor). If both parts carry a variation in the same gene, there is an increased risk of the child developing a disease. This risk is the same for all children, donor-conceived or not.
At Cryos, we perform an extensive screening of all donor candidates in which we assess their general condition as well as the medical and genetic history of both donor and his/her family members in three generations. We also perform a genetic carrier test, looking for the most common genetic variants causing:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hemoglobinopathies (including Alfa thalassemia, Beta thalassemia, and Sickle cell)
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Tay Sachs
- Non-syndromic deafness (GJB2)
as these are among the most frequent hereditary diseases.
However, the donor screening does not take the genes provided by the genetic parent (or second donor if double donation) into account. In other words, despite our thorough screening, there is still a small risk of a child inheriting a disease, and this risk will be higher if both the donor and the genetic parent carry a variation in the same gene.
If you or your patient want to know the risk and be able to act on it before the fertility treatment, Genetic Matching is a good opportunity. With this test, we will match the donor’s genes up against the genetic parent’s and assess whether they are genetically compatible.
In the video below, you can learn more about Genetic Matching.
Can genetic testing completely prevent diseases in children?
Even though we conduct a matching between the genetic parent and a chosen donor and look for recessive diseases, it is unfortunately impossible for us to eliminate the risk of the child developing a genetic disease. There will always be a small residual risk, as not all genes will be examined, and new or unknown mutations cannot always be identified using matching either.
Do you have questions regarding Genetic Matching?
Our Customer Care Team will be happy to answer any questions you might have and assist you in ordering Genetic Matching of one or more donors.