Donor Testing and Screening

We built our reputation on donor qualification. In addition to our Open ID donor policy, we use industry-leading donor screening and extensive testing procedures to evaluate each donor to ensure that the donor sperm that we offer clients and fertility clinics is of the highest possible quality . We adhere strictly to FDA regulations and international health authorities’ screening guidelines.

Seattle Sperm Bank Donor SURE-CHECK

We understand the time, effort and emotion that go into choosing your sperm donor.   After you have made that decision, we want to give you the highest assurance that the specimens you receive match your donor selection.  Seattle Sperm Bank’s proprietary SURE-CHECK is a 5-Step, double-verified, donor identity system.  This guarantees the chain of custody for sperm donor identification from beginning to end. This eliminates the possibility of human error.

Each SSB donor is identified via a fingerprint scan. This allows for automated printing of accurate donor labels and several redundant verification markers; such as the sperm donor’s fingerprint, identification photo and signature. At the time that fingerprint is registered by the software, the person responsible for checking the donor in will confirm their name and date of birth.  No other documentation, labels or donor paperwork enters the donor check-in work-space. The donor identity is confirmed by comparing the donor’s signature and photograph at time of check-in.

At the time of initial identification and check-in, only the required amount of labels are printed; one label for the specimen cup, one label for the Daily Donor Questionnaire (DDQ), and one label for the urine cup (if applicable).  As additional labels are required for the transfer of the specimen to a new container, the barcode found on the DDQ is scanned and labels are auto-generated, and printed, for this purpose.  These labels are placed on the new container and then verified by two technicians to be correct and accurate. For this purpose, “Verified” is defined as two responsible persons visually inspecting the identifiers on the previous container, the identifiers on the intended new container(s) to ensure a match.    This verification is documented on the DDQ with the two responsible persons’ initials and the date and time at which the verification was performed. .  This process is repeated every time that specimen changes containers.  This double verification is continued to completion when the specimen is transferred to its final location, the cryovial. During this process, only one specimen is allowed in the defined work area at a time.

Lastly, we also employ security cameras throughout the lab for additional assurance should any sperm donor identity come into question.

Donor Testing and Screening

Seattle Sperm Bank tests and screens donors more than any other sperm bank. We pioneered the Genetic Carrier Screening, and have continuously expanded our screening panels on various levels.

Initially our donors are selected by our sperm bank staff, based on a number of parameters:

  • Sperm Quality
  • Age
  • Personality
  • Education
  • Criminal Background Check
  • 4 Generation Family Health History

Further screening includes blood and urine analysis:

  • Physical Exam every 6 months (including EKG)
  • Chemistry Panel
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Urinalysis
  • ABO-Rh Blood typing
  • HIV
  • Hemoglobin Fractionation
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigen
  • Hepatitis B Core Antibody
  • Hepatitis C Viral Antibody
  • Syphilis
  • CMV IgG/IgM
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea

The genetic testing we do includes the following:

  • 4 generation family medical history, which is reviewed by a trained genetic specialist and a medical doctor (all donors)
  • Cystic Fibrosis screening →  Up to 97 mutations on donors with optional advanced testing. →  32 standard mutations tested on all donors include:

G85E                     A455E                   S549N                  R1162X                711+1 G→T

R117H                  ∆I507                    S549R                   W1282X              2789+5 G→A

R334W                 ∆F508                   G551D                 N1303K               1717-I G→A

R347H                  V520F                   R553X                  394delTT             1898+1 G→A

R347P                   G542X                  R560T                  3876delA             2183AA→G

2184delA            3905insT            1078delT            621+1 G→T       3120+1 G→A

3659delC           3849+10kb C→T

  • Chromosome analysis (all donors)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) (all donors)
  • Sickle Cell Disease. For all donors a Hemoglobin Fractionation analysis is done to detect this indirectly.
  • Thalassemia (all donors). A Hemoglobin Fractionation analysis is done to detect this indirectly. Please contact us if you would like to have your donor genetically screened for carrier status.
  • Bloom Syndrome (donors with Azhkenazi Jewish Ancestry)
  • Canavan disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Familial Dysautonomia (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Fanconi Anemia type C (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Gaucher disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Niemann-Pick type A disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
  • Tay-Sachs disease (donors with Ashkenazi Jewish or French Canadian ancestry)


Extended Genetic Testing:

Seattle Sperm Bank is proud to offer Counsyl’s Foresight Carrier Screen, which includes testing for 175 conditions.

Over the years, we have expanded our genetic testing of donors as genetic knowledge and technology continue to advance. As a result, not all donors have been tested for the same conditions or with the same methods. However, all donors have undergone screening and testing for the conditions listed here, if not more.

If patients know they are carriers for conditions not covered by our testing, we are very accommodating in helping them get a donor tested for that condition. Our online Donor Search function has an advanced search tool where carrier screening results can be used for filtering our available donors, based on carrier screening results.

Counsyl Carrier Screening

Providing peace of mind

As of January 1, 2018, all new donors with Seattle Sperm Bank are tested with Counsyl’s Foresight Panel (175 conditions tested). Seattle Sperm Bank used Counsyl’s Universal Carrier Screening (102 conditions tested) on all donors who entered our program since August 2016.

Over the years, we have expanded our genetic testing of donors as genetic knowledge and technology continue to advance. As a result, not all donors have been tested for the same conditions or with the same methods. However, all donors have undergone screening and testing for the conditions listed here, if not more.

Smarter Donor Search

To better serve our clients, we have created a donor search tool with filtering options, to show only donors that have been genetically tested, and found to be negative for, any conditions you choose from the list. So, for example, if you are a known carrier for Pendred Syndrome, you could select that condition from the list, and then select “Find Match” on the top right of the donor search tool. The resulting matches would only show donors who were tested and found to be negative for Pendred Syndrome.

Please note: Even if a donor has been evaluated for carrier status, a negative result reduces, but does not eliminate, the chance of the donor being a carrier. If you are a known carrier of a genetic condition please contact us or use our Donor Search tool, and we can provide you a list of donors who have been screened for this condition and found to be negative. If you do not know your carrier status, you can easily find out by ordering a discounted saliva kit at Counsyl’s website below.