Core to our approach is that we only accept donors with superb sperm quality (only MOT20+) and that our Medical Director, who is a genetic specialist, approves all potential donors.
We receive many applications every day from men keen to be donors, but after our thorough testing only 5-7% of the applicants are accepted as donors.
After the initial testing process, all sperm donors are tested on a regular basis while they are in the programme.
Please note! Although all recommended testing has been performed, the risk of transmitting a genetic/hereditary disease cannot be fully eliminated, as there is no such thing as flawless sperm.
Quarantining of samples prior to release
Sperm is cryo-preserved to allow for retesting of a variety of diseases – donor sperm is released following a NAT (nucleic acid test) and after a 6-month quarantine period. This means that freshly collected sperm is stored for a minimum of six months before repeat testing. Repeat testing includes HIV 1 & 2 antibodies, HTLV I & II antibodies, hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B core antibody, hepatitis C, syphilis, TP-PA and cytomegalovirus antibodies. Donors are also tested for chlamydia and gonorrhoea.
We also perform NAT tests, which means that the donors’ serological tests are done by the NAT method (nucleic acid amplification technique) for HIV, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, HBV and HCV), instead of by antibody testing. The two test methods are equally valid as stated in the EU tissue directive, and NAT is not a specific test, just the method.
The NAT testing does in fact allow for release before the 180-day quarantine period. However, it must be combined with traditional antibody testing. We do allow release before 180 days when all the required testing has been performed.