SDSB Medical Testing and Other Screening
Becoming a donor is a worthwhile endeavor and will help support others looking to become parents. Donors go through medical screening and testing during the application process and continue to be tested throughout the time they are an active donor.
Here is a look into the testing and screening that potential and active donors undergo at San Diego Sperm Bank.
No Cannabis Testing
To clear this up, we do not test for any cannabis products. However, we do initial and routine semen analyses. Cannabis may impact sperm count and motility. Both elements are crucial for making donated samples usable for treatment, and we will discard samples that are not high enough quality. During the application process, this may mean you will be discontinued from the program. And for active donors, you may not earn the full $100 for each donation. However, this can vary by individual, and your individual semen analysis may be ok with some amounts of cannabis use. You are always welcome to speak with our Donor Coordinator and the medical team regarding your semen analysis results and what could be impacting them.
Infectious Disease Testing
Donated samples will be used in different treatments to achieve pregnancy, exposing recipients to donated tissue. Therefore, it is important to make sure samples are free from infectious disease. Donors are tested initially during the application process, then again routinely as they are actively donating to the program. Infectious disease testing is done through blood and urine collection and includes:
HTLV I/II, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, West Nile Virus, and CMV.
Testing positive does not always mean immediate disqualification. For CMV we would need to inform recipients of the donor’s CMV status. In other cases, you may need to defer from the program until you are no longer actively infected.
Our Medical Director or Nurse Practitioner will perform a full physical every 6 months while you are actively donating. Other testing includes complete blood count, blood typing, EKG, and urinalysis. These health screenings will help us better understand your complete health and make sure that we have healthy donors in our program.
Donor family medical histories are used by our Licensed Genetic Counselors to identify any trends that may pose risk to future donor-conceived children. Each applicant will have a full genetic carrier screening panel run of 514 different conditions, which can reduce the chance of future offspring having adverse genetic conditions.
There are many genetic conditions that an individual can be a carrier for without having any adverse characteristics themselves. An example is cystic fibrosis. An individual may carry the cystic fibrosis gene without having any physical characteristics of the condition but pass it on to an offspring. If both egg and sperm sources carry cystic fibrosis and pass it to offspring, the offspring has a 25% chance of being affected by the condition. Knowing the genetic carrier results for both egg and sperm sources greatly reduces the chances of having offspring with adverse genetic conditions.
All testing and screening results are shared with each donor. Genetic carrier screening results are not uploaded to any commercial database. Although results are shared with intended parents and their healthcare team, the donor’s identifying information remains confidential.
If you are looking to become a sperm donor and get the great health benefits that come with being a donor at San Diego Sperm Bank, you can apply online today. Do not hesitate to reach out at (858)732-8500 or [email protected] if you have any questions about becoming a donor.