Donor Screening

Donor applicants undergo a comprehensive screening process for the protection of recipients. Donors from certain ethnic groups are tested for specific conditions. The following genetic screens are conducted as appropriate to applicant’s ancestry and ethnic group:

  • Canavan’s Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Tay Sachs
  • Thalassemia

A copy of the donor’s most recent serology results will be sent to your doctor along with the shipment.

Screenings & Tests

  • Three-generation family health history
  • Medical, social, and sexual history of donor
  • Physical exam by internist
  • Chromosome analysis
  • Hgb electrophoresis
  • CBC
  • Aspartate aminotransferase (SGOT)
  • Semen analysis
  • Alanine aminotransferase (SGPT activity)
  • Chlamydia
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV), IgG and IgM antibody + culture
  • Hepatitis B, surface antigen and core antibody
  • Hepatitis C, antibody
  • HIV-1/2 (AIDS), antibody
  • HIV-1, antigen (performed on donors donating prior to NAT test availability)
  • HTLV-1/2, antibody
  • Neisseria Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis, antibody
  • NAT MultiPlex (HCV RNA, HIV RNA and HBV DNA)
  • Chagas
  • West Nile

Donors Are Chosen With Care

Located in the greater New Orleans area, we are near several universities and law and medical schools. We recruit donors by placing discrete ads in campus publications and sending out carefully worded flyers to selected campus locations. All of our active donors are students.

We select our donors with care. Donors routinely have three appointments a week for two years, so we get to know them well. They are paid a nominal fee for travel and the time they spend at our facility. Our donors must be between the ages of 18 and 40 to lower the chance of new mutations.

Prospective donors undergo a rigorous screening process that begins at their initial appointment and continues for as long as they are in the program. Because of the demands placed on donors, less than 10 percent of our candidates become donors.

A typical donor scenario:

  1. A young man reads a flyer at the university and calls our information line.
  2. A medical technologist conducts a phone interview and explains our program. If the prospective donor is interested, he makes an appointment to be seen at our laboratory.
  3. The prospective donor shows two forms of identification; one must show proof of current university enrollment. The candidate collects a semen specimen in one of our private collection rooms.
  4. A three-hour semen analysis and cryopreservation are performed to determine count, motility, morphology, and post-thaw survival. In other words, the semen must be of high quality and able to withstand freezing and thawing.
  5. Men who pass this initial screen are given a health and personal history form to complete. The health form requires a three-generation medical history, including parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. The personal history includes questions concerning the candidate’s social and sexual history, motivations, ideals, and lifestyle.
  6. The semen bank director and medical director review and evaluate the health and personal history forms. Men who pass criteria requirements continue with the screening process.
  7. Blood is drawn, cultures are taken, and urine is collected to screen for infectious diseases. The appropriate genetic screening is performed. Click Donor Screening to learn more about these tests.
  8. Two additional three-hour semen analyses are done over the next two-week period to confirm that the semen sample is adequate for our program.
  9. The candidate is given a physical by an internist or urologist. Our medical director recommends or rejects the man for participation in the program.
  10. Young men who meet all criteria are invited to donate samples at our facility three times a week. A contract is signed between the candidate and Reproductive Resources outlining responsibility of the donor and relinquishment of parental rights.

The screening process is continuous, and the donor may be rejected at any time.  Periodically, the donor has blood drawn or collects urine samples to test for infectious diseases.

Specimens are held in quarantine for six months, at which time the serology battery is repeated. If the results pass criteria requirements, we feel confident that the candidate is acceptable as a donor and his specimens are ready to be released.