What we screen for


We at European Sperm Bank have a very high standard for our sperm donor applicants. We only accept less than 10% of all donor applicants into our donor catalogue. We check diligently for high quality sperm as this is a prerequisite for a successful insemination. We do extensive genetic testing to help you feel confident about your choice. Our testing in many ways exceeds EU Tissue Directive.

Initially the sperm donors are selected based on a number of parameters:

  • Sperm Quality
  • Age
  • Personality
  • Education
  • 3-4 Generation Family Health History

Further screening includes blood and urine analysis:

  • Chemistry Panel
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Urinalysis
  • ABO-Rh Blood typing
  • HIV
  • HTLV I/II
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody
  • Hepatitis C Viral Antibody
  • Syphilis
  • CMV IgG/IgM
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhoeae

The genetic testing we do includes the following:

  • 3-4 generation family medical history, which is reviewed by a trained genetic specialist or a medical doctor (all donors)
  • Cystic Fibrosis screening for 139 mutations in the Cystic Fibrosis gene (all Caucasian donors)
  • Chromosome analysis (all donors)
  • SMA (spinal muscular atrophy). We test SMN1 exon and the assay detects variations in the number of copies of exon 7 of the SMN1 gene. Carriers of SMA will usually have one copy of the survival of motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene. A normal SMN1 dosage (two copies) significantly reduces, but does not exclude the risk of being a carrier of SMA (all active donors from January 2015). If you want to know test status for a specific donor, please contact us.
  • 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. Less than 1 in 1000 are carriers for this disease in Northern Europe.
  • Tay-Sachs disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish or French Canadian ancestry)
  • Non-syndromic Hearing Loss and Deafness (Connexin 26 & 30)
  • Sperm donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry are furthermore tested for:

    • Familial Dysautonomia
    • Fanconi Anemia type C
    • Gaucher disease
    • Niemann-Pick type A disease
    • Canavan disease
    • Sickle Cell Disease (donors with African ancestry are genetically screened). For all donors an HPLC analysis is done to detect this indirectly.

    By the time we have done all the testing and screening we also have gathered information for the sperm donor’s profile.