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Taxonomy term

What is CMV?

Cytomegalovirus is a member of the herpes family

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, July 12, 2013

Cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is a member of the herpes virus family. Other examples of conditions related to herpes family viruses are chicken pox and cold sores. CMV is carried by many individuals, approximately 50-85% of American adults will test CMV positive, confirming exposure, typically childhood exposure and a mild infection similar to a typical cold. The immune system develops antibodies to fight the infection; the virus remains alive, but becomes dormant, hiding inside certain cells for the rest of the person's lifetime.

A Great Step in a Long Journey

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, July 4, 2013

Last week on Wednesday 6/26/13, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. What this means is that same sex couples who are married in a state that has marriage equality will now have federal recognition of their marriage. This is an incredibly important step in the journey to equality for the LGBTQ community and their families.

How Many Vials of Donor Sperm Will I Need?

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, June 27, 2013

Often we are asked how many tries are in a vial of donor sperm. The short answer is that one vial equals one try. Sperm Banks split the Sperm Donor’s sample into several cryovials dependent on the volume, count, and motility of his fresh analysis.

Sperm Banks provide various prep types of the donor sperm; Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Intracervical Insemination (ICI), IVF (in vitro fertilization), and ART (artificial reproductive technology). IUI prep is a pre-washed sample, meaning that the seminal fluid is washed out of the sperm sample; this can be a simple wash or a gradient wash that allows the lab to separate highly motile sperm from non-sperm cells and debris that is normally found in semen samples. Once washed, freeze media is added to the sample and frozen. IUI samples are used for IUI procedures where the sperm sample is thawed and inserted through the cervix into the uterus.

How does it work? What is it like for the Sperm Donor?

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, June 13, 2013

The experience for the sperm donor will vary from sperm bank to sperm bank, but I can describe how it works at our Cryobank.

A man who is interested in becoming a sperm donor has to go through a rigorous screening process before he ever steps foot in the clinic. Typically the men apply online, fill out a follow up medical application online, then wait to hear if they will be invited to screen at the clinic.

When they are invited to screen at the clinic, they are given a tour of the facility and a brief description of the program. They see the donor rooms, have an opportunity to ask questions, and then they receive a short questionnaire and a specimen cup.

How Old is My Donor?

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, June 3, 2013

One of the frequently asked questions of our client services representatives is, “how old is my donor?” Our sperm bank does not provide the date of birth or specific age of our donors to the patients. A date of birth is identifying information and we work to ensure the confidentiality of the donor identities. All of our donors are between the ages of 18 and 39 when donating. We follow this guideline based on the American Association of Tissue Banking (AATB) Standards because we are an AATB accredited Sperm Bank. Several other regulating agencies require this age range for sperm donation as well, such as NY State.

How Safe is This?

a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Laboratory Director for Fairfax Cryobank, May 28, 2013

I am friends with a woman, we’ll call her Jean, whose college age daughter has recently come out and discussed the possibility of building a family using donor sperm someday. Jean loves the idea of having a grandchild and seeing her daughter happy, but had some concerns. She asked me if this was safe for her daughter, and she wanted specifics. I was happy to provide the details and thought it would be a good topic for a blog post.

In the United States Sperm Banks are under the regulation of the FDA, specifically 21 CFR Part 1271. This set of regulations is in place to ensure that Sperm Banks are screening their donors thoroughly to determine their eligibility to donate. This screening includes a physical exam and extensive infectious disease screening.

Single Mother by Choice with Sperm Donation

Source: Center for Reproductive Medicine and Surgery
A fertility patient explains how Dr. Michael S. Mersol-Barg helped her to become a single mother with sperm donation at Center for Reproductive Medicine and Surgery, home of the Michigan Egg Bank.

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I Ask You: Where Do the Hollywood Elite Get Their Sperm?

a blog by Lori Shandle-Fox, April 1, 2013

It's the new trend. Everyone in Hollywood is talking publicly about their fertility issues. The infertility bandwagon. Only those longing for limelight could aspire to jump on it. (The rest of us spend every waking moment figuring out a way to jump the hell off of it.) I'm not saying lots of celebrities don't really need fertility treatments. Or that some of the need could have been averted if they hadn't abused their bodies for years with bizarre diets so they could be translucent in a bikini. Or that maybe some of the 30 year old starlets are really 45 and their eggs have turned to star-dust (sorry).

The Bachelor Sean Lowe's Sperm Donation Story

a blog by Claire, March 3, 2013

Sean Lowe, better known as The Bachelor, planned to become a sperm donor just a few years ago. According to reports, Lowe offered to donate sperm to help his sister and her husband become parents.

Monica Cruz Dishes on Donor Sperm Pregnancy

a blog by Claire, January 14, 2013

In a world where celebrities often deny their fertility struggles and swear they have used their own eggs to get pregnant well into their forties, it is very refreshing to hear celebrities openly discuss their use of fertility treatment to get pregnant.

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