Donor Screening

We use industry leading donor screening and testing procedures and we adhere strictly to FDA and Health Canada regulations of sperm banks as well as several international health authorities’ screening guidelines. All of our donor applicants undergo an extensive screening process.

All donor units distributed in Canada are fully Canadian Compliant and meet all Health Canada guidelines.

Initially our donors are selected by our sperm bank staff, based on a number of parameters:

  • Sperm Quality
  • Age
  • Personality
  • Education
  • Criminal Background Check
  • 4 Generation Family Health History

Further screening includes blood and urine analysis:

  • Chemistry Panel
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Urinalysis
  • ABO-Rh Blood typing
  • HIV
  • Hemoglobin Fractionation
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody
  • Hepatitis C Viral Antibody
  • Syphilis (RPR) and (TP-PA)
  • CMV IgG/IgM
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea

The genetic testing we do includes the following:

  • 3 generation family medical history, which is reviewed by a trained genetic specialist or a medical doctor (all donors)
  • Bloom Syndrome (donors with Azhkenazi Jewish Ancestry)
  • Cystic Fibrosis screening for 32-97 mutations in the Cystic Fibrosis gene (all Caucasian donors)
  • Chromosome analysis (all donors)
  • Thalassemia (all donors). An HPLC analysis is done to detect this indirectly. Please contact us if you would like to have your donor genetically screened for carrier status.
  • Tay-Sachs disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish or French Canadian ancestry)
  • Canavan disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Familial Dysautonomia (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Fanconi Anemia type C (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Gaucher disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Niemann-Pick type A disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Sickle Cell Disease. For all donors an HPLC analysis is done to detect this indirectly.
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) (all donors)
  • Advanced Genetic Testing – SSB is the first sperm bank to test ALL NEW DONORS (as of September 2015) with an Extended Genetic Panel Carrier Screen. If you know that you, or your egg donor, are a carrier for conditions not covered by our testing, we do our best to get your donor tested for that condition at a reasonable price. Our website has an advanced search tool where carrier screening results can be used for filtering our available donors.
  • Donor Counseling – All sperm donors are evaluated by a counselor with a Master’s of Social Work. This interview helps donors understand the full implications of being a donor, including the possibility of future contact from offspring. It gives us the assurance the donors in the our program are safe and sound individuals.
  • Criminal Background Checks and Donor Records Verification – SSB conducts criminal background checks and verifies educational transcripts on all sperm donors.  SSB was the first sperm bank to perform criminal background checks on all donors.  We have run these reports since our lab opened in 2008.  Our reasoning for this was to eliminate any potential donors who had a record of criminal activity that demonstrated antisocial or pathological behavior.  Criminal activity can also be an indicator for mental illness, and/or drug use.  If a potential donor has had minor interactions with law enforcement- say, a speeding ticket- this history is discussed in depth between the donor applicant and our Medical Director, as well as our Donor Coordinator and Counselor.  If we judge that these infractions were minor and situational, in particular when the applicant was a young adult, we may advance the potential donor into the program.
  • Seattle Sperm Bank Donor SURE-CHECK –  SSB’s proprietary SURE-CHECK system is a 5-Step, double-verified, donor identity system. This guarantees the chain of custody for sperm donor identification from beginning to end.
  • Vial Quality – The SSB lab staff prides themselves on creating the best quality vials. We receive quality complaint forms on less than 0.1% of vials distributed.