Donor Selection

We know selecting the perfect donor is the most critical part of starting your family journey. That’s why we take great care in ensuring that our donors pass the highest levels of screening. Here you can see our comprehensive screening procedures that include thorough medical, genetic, and personal history assessments to provide you with peace of mind and confidence in your choice.

Initial Evaluation

We have stringent criteria for selecting sperm donors. Our donors must be male, between the ages of 18 to 39, and have a healthy medical history with only occasional colds, flu, or seasonal allergies. The selection process begins with an initial interview, where we get to know the donor and assess their motivations for donating sperm, as well as their educational and professional background. An initial semen analysis is performed to ensure the specimen is suitable for assisted reproductive therapy. Only donors who demonstrate exceptional personal qualities and produce acceptable specimens will be invited back for a full clinical evaluation, including physical examination and laboratory testing.

Infectious Disease Testing

The health and safety of our donors and intended families are our top priority. That’s why all of our donors undergo an extensive infectious disease screening evaluation and have no clinical or physical evidence of infection by the following communicable diseases:

  • Treponema pallidum (syphilis);
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV), types I and II;
  • Chlamydia trachomatis;
  • Neisseria gonorrhea
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), types 1 and 2; 
  • Hepatitis B virus (HBV);
  • Hepatitis C virus (HCV);
  • Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE); including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD);
  • West Nile Virus
  • Sepsis
  • Vaccinia
  • Zika Virus

Note:

Potential donors who have any behavioral risk factors for infection are excluded from the program. Potential donors are then subjected to blood and urine testing to confirm that there is no analytical evidence of infection.  Specific assays are FDA-licensed, approved, or cleared donor screening tests, and are performed by a laboratory that is certified to perform such testing on human specimens under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA).

Medical Evaluation

Our medical team conducts a clinical, psychological, and physical evaluation of each donor. This evaluation includes a four-generation family medical history, which is designed to exclude potential donors with an increased risk of birth defects or known genetic conditions. Eligibility is determined by Cascade Cryobank’s rigorous acceptance criteria, and by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s donor eligibility recommendations.

Psychological Evaluation

Each donor completes a Personality Assessment Inventory, which is then reviewed by a Licensed Mental Health Professional, who then completes an in-depth interview of the donor to assess their mental and emotional health. We also provide each donor with a sperm donation implication counseling session to provide them the necessary knowledge and resources to make a fully informed decision to continue with the sperm donation process.

Criminal Background Check

A criminal background check is performed on all donors in order to exclude those who have a history of criminal behavior, which can be associated with personality disorders, drug use, or mental illness.

Advanced Genetic Testing

All donors undergo karyotype/chromosome analysis, and an expanded prenatal genetic carrier screening test that can detect abnormalities in 714 genes.

Blood Type Evaluation

All donors have their blood tested to determine their ABO group and RH type. A hemoglobinopathy panel is also performed to detect any abnormal hemoglobin variants.

Interview and Personality Assessment

Our staff conducts interviews with every donor in order to get a significant understanding of his personal history, the types of relationships he maintains with family and friends, his ambitions, and his life story.  This information is prepared for our recipients in the form of a written interview and a separate staff impressions summary, in order to provide deeper insight into the personal characteristics of our donors.  A standardized personality assessment is also performed, and results are provided as part of the donor profile.

Post-Donation Repeat Testing

Each sperm specimen is evaluated both pre-freeze and post-thaw. A representative test vial from each donation is thawed to determine the individual characteristics of the specimen. Any specimen not meeting our standard requirements is discarded. All specimens are quarantined for at least six months, after which the donor is retested for HIV-1, HIV-2, HTLV-I & II, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Syphilis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, West Nile Virus, and Cytomegalovirus to confirm that no infection was acquired during the period in which he was participating in the donation program.

Medical Director Review

After we have completed all the screening procedures outlined above, our Medical Director reviews the donors records and results to make a final determination for the donors overall health. This holistic assessment of both objective and subjective criteria provide the most comprehensive context with which we can determine whether or not a donor is suitable for sperm donation.