How we screen donor applicants

How we screen interview with smiling nurse
Our screening approach is fundamental to how we define ourselves as a sperm bank. It has been the key element in our operations since we were founded in 2004 and it continuous to be so as we review and update processes on an ongoing basis. Needless to say, our screening programme complies with the regulations set out by the Danish Health Authority and meets and exceeds the EU screening requirements.

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.

 Only 5-7% of the applicants are accepted as donors.

The screening programme:

  • 1st sperm test for quality (only MOT20+ is acceptable) and the sperm’s ability to survive freezing and thawing.
  • Interview with one of our donor coordinators. We investigate the medical history of donor’s family to make sure that there are no serious hereditary diseases.
  • The donor receives counselling on what it means to be a sperm donor and what types of sperm donor he can be.
  • 2nd sperm test for quality and for the sperm’s ability to survive freezing and thawing.
  • A thorough health check at the doctor’s office is required to check for any abnormalities and diseases.
  • Blood and urine samples are tested for haematology, haemoglobin electrophoresis, chemistry panel, urinalysis, infectious disease testing, genetic testing and chromosome analysis.
  • The donor completes a Keirsey personality test.
  • The donor receives further counselling, records an audio interview and fills out his full donor profile.
  • Final approval by our Medical Director.

Read detailed information on what we screen for.

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.

 We have been screening for cystic fibrosis and spinal muscular atrophy on all active sperm donors since January 2015.

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.