Good Isn't Good Enough
At California Cryobank our stringent donor qualification process allows less than 1% of all applicants to make it into our program. Why are we so picky? Because being a California Cryobank donor means being the best. While some banks charge extra for their more "desirable" donors, we consider all our donors to be "premium" level, each possessing excellent health histories and unique individual interests and talents.
Selection + Quality = finding your ideal donor!
The Screening Process
Because some sperm will be lost during processing and not all sperm will survive the freezing and thawing process, semen samples must be evaluated to determine whether or not they will be useful. Many potential donors present with less-than-adequate specimens. If the potential donor's semen sample meets our count and motility standards, it takes another 3+ months for the applicant to become a fully qualified donor. During this period, a potential donor must leave several semen and blood samples for laboratory testing and genetic screening.
Infectious Disease Screening
Infectious disease testing is done during the initial screening and repeated approximately every 3 months thereafter. Testing includes:
- CMV Total antibody
(if reactive, additional tests are performed to exclude an active infection)
- Hepatitis B Virus surface antigen
- Hepatitis B Virus core antibody
- Hepatitis C Virus antibody
- Hepatitis C Virus NAT (Nucleic Acid Test)
- HTLV I/II antibody
- HIV1/HIV2 antibody
- HIV 1 NAT (Nucleic Acid Test)
- Syphilis Serology
COVID-19 Donor Screening
As the COVID-19 pandemic first emerged as a global health threat, the CDC and American Association of Tissue banks (AATB) issued recommendations for donor screening. We immediately implemented these recommendations, which initially comprised screening for symptoms, relevant travel history and potential social exposures. In late March 2020, we paused sperm donor collections altogether. As we resume the collection of sperm donations, we have implemented additional laboratory screening for SARS-CoV-2 (the viral agent causing COVID-19) on all donors. In addition to monitoring temperature, symptoms and potential exposures, donors will receive frequent and recurrent laboratory testing for the virus while participating in our program. It’s important to note that this type of testing is not recommended or required by any regulatory or accrediting body, however we believe these extra precautions will help us maintain a safe environment for staff, donors and clients.
One of our reproductive genetic specialists conducts a genetic interview which includes a review of the potential donor's extended profile. The extended donor profile includes information about the health of the donor, his siblings, his parents, his grandparents, his aunts, his uncles, and his cousins. The family medical history is carefully evaluated for any birth defects or known genetic conditions. A donor applicant is disqualified from participation in the donor program if there is a family history which indicates that his offspring may have a significantly increased risk for a birth defect or genetic condition, as compared to the general population risks.
Once the reproductive genetic specialist, donor manager, laboratory manager, and the medical director are satisfied that the potential donor is a good candidate for our donor program, he becomes a fully qualified donor.
Psychological Assessment & Criminal Background Check
As of March 2016, all new California Cryobank donors have completed a comprehensive assessment including a Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and clinical interview administered by one of Cryobank’s licensed mental health professionals. Prior to this date, all donors have completed multiple interviews with experienced Cryobank donor coordinators, reproductive genetic specialists, and physicians who have been trained to make non-clinical determinations on a donor’s emotional and psychological readiness to participate in our program.
A basic criminal background check is also performed during the donor qualification process.
California Cryobank is currently following the FDA's recommendations to reduce the risk of Zika virus transmission by human cell and tissue products.
Donor travel history is obtained at every donation. Donors are ineligible to donate for six months following travel to regions identified by the CDC as at-risk for mosquito-borne Zika transmission. A six month deferral from donating is considered a very conservative window (ample time) to mitigate transmission through viral shedding. More information about the Zika virus can be found on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/
If you have further concerns, please contact our Client Services Department at 866-927-9622.