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Putting Sperm Donors to the Test

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a blog by Michelle Ottey, PhD, Director of Operations, Fairfax Cryobank and Cryogenic Laboratories, Inc. August 11, 2010

Choosing a sperm donor is a complex process that takes a lot into consideration. What most people do not realize is that you will know more information about your sperm donor than you’d ever know about your partner or a friend.

Ten tests your donor has had that your other male friends probably have not:

  1. Sperm Count
  2. Analysis of how his sperm freezes and thaws
  3. Analysis of the shape of the sperm cells
  4. BMI (body mass index) — how many of your male friends even know what they weigh?
  5. Chromosome analysis — looking at the 23 chromosome pairs
  6. Cystic Fibrosis Carrier Testing
  7. Spinal Muscular Atrophy Carrier testing
  8. Semen testing for HPV (Human Papillomavirus), which can cause cervical cancer
  9. Semen testing for Herpes
  10. Blood tests for STDs every three months

When prospective donors learns about all of the testing donors undergo, they are often shocked. Most guys, when applying to be donors, do not realize the extent of the rigorous screening process. There is a misconception, perpetuated by silly television shows that you just walk in, fill out a form, and “leave your deposit.” Not so! The screening process can take six to eight weeks, and the majority of men do not make it through to become donors.

Many of the donors appreciate the free, quality health care. They are having regular testing and physical screening, which confirms their good health. Let’s face it; the majority of guys would not go to the doctor unless they were bitten by a rabid dog — and some might not even go then.

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