Sperm Donor Genetic Screening
All patients at ORM are offered optional sperm donor genetic screening via the Counsyl Family Prep Screen blood test, to evaluate the risk of having a child with a genetic disease. Please reference the ORM “Carrier Screening Consent” form and ormgenomics.com/genetic-carrier-screening for general information about carrier screening and how it may be helpful to you in planning your family.
Additional Factors When Considering Screening
For women planning to conceive using donor sperm there are some additional factors to consider in deciding whether to proceed with Counsyl screening:
60% of people ...
who have Counsyl screening are found to be a carrier of a rare disease.
Most sperm banks do not have a large number of donors ...
who have had screening for these rare conditions. Therefore, it may be challenging to find a donor who has screened negative for a condition that you carry.
If you choose to proceed ...
with Counsyl screening, we strongly recommend that you not purchase or ship sperm to ORM until all genetic consults and screening are completed.
If you have screening,
you will have a phone consultation with a Counsyl genetic counselor to help you understand your carrier screen results prior to initiating any fertility treatment. This is an important step toward understanding what it would mean to use a donor who has not had screening compared to a donor who did have screening for the disease you carry. It is complimentary but required by ORM.
- Understand your options for choosing a donor through various sperm banks.
- Recognize the difference between basic sperm donor screening and Counsyl screening.
- Review results of any carrier screening that may already have been performed on your donor.
- Ensure that proper screening for your donor is ordered.
- Feel supported through the decision-making process of searching for a donor with a low risk to be a carrier.
What if I screen positive?
If your Counsyl results are positive, you will also be scheduled for a 30 minute phone consult with an ORM genetic counselor; the cost of this consult is $90, which includes all follow-up. This consult allows you to understand your options for choosing a donor through various sperm banks and recognize the difference between basic sperm donor screening and Counsyl screening. As well, we will review results of any carrier screening that may already have been performed on your donor and ensure that proper screening is ordered, if necessary. We want you to feel supported through the decision-making process of searching for a donor who has a low risk to be a carrier.
Sperm banks vary widely in the amount and type of carrier screening they perform on their donors. Even within a sperm bank, different donors may have had different screening, with different diseases and technologies.
Ultimately, you will have three options when choosing a sperm donor:
- Choose a sperm donor who has not been screened for the disease(s) you carry.
- Choose a sperm donor who has not had carrier screening for the disease(s) you carry and ask the sperm bank if he is available to have further screening. It is possible that your donor will not be able to have screening.
- Choose a sperm donor who has had carrier screening for the disease(s) you carry. Ask sperm banks if they have donors in their database who have undergone screening for the specific disease(s) you carry. If you find a donor who has been screened, please request the following documentation from the sperm bank:
- the actual carrier screening results on the donor
- the specific ethnic background of the donor. This information should be reviewed with an ORM genetic counselor.