Anonymous or not? Strict selection and genetic screening Double checks
Become a donor?
|On this site with information for egg donors you can register as a candidate donor. |
|On this site with information for sperm donors you can register as a candidate donor. |
The demand for donor cells is far greater than the supply. This is why the CRG is always looking for new donors. The greater and more varied the supply, the better the selection for the recipient (couple).
We sometimes try to raise our own patients' awareness as regards the need for sperm or eggdonation, but we also look for 'voluntary' donors. They are fertile men and women who are prepared to donate their reproductive cells.
In the case of egg donation, it concerns women willing to follow the ART treatment resulting in the harvesting of ripe eggs. Often a couple finds a volunteer who is willing to follow a treatment resulting in egg donation, but the CRG also tries to motivate healthy young women outside the IVF circuit to be donors.
Anonymous, or not?
The general rule is that the recipient does not know the donor, and vice versa.
Belgian legislation on ART and the use of donor material leaves the option of named donation open, but anonymity is the preferred option.
Anonymous donation has a number of advantages: see under named versus anonymous
This is why the CRG also offers an anonymous alternative in the event of named egg donation: exchange donation. See also Types of egg donation
- In named egg donation a recipient explicitly chooses the donor she/they found and vice versa.
- In exchange donation the ‘named’ eggs of the donor go to the egg bank and the recipient receives anonymous eggs instead.
This allows couples to find a donor in their own family or circle of friends and still guarantee anonymity.
Strict selection and genetic screening
Obviously, not everyone is a suitable donor.
- There is the age factor.
- For sperm donors the age is 44, i.e. that means you can donate up to the day before your 45th birthday.
- For egg donors the age limit is 35, i.e. up to the day before your 36th birthday.
Exceptions to this rule are only made in named donation.
- All candidate-donors are subjected to rigorous medical screening before they are selected, on the basis of
- an extensive family medical history questionnaire;
- a preliminary blood analysis for the infectious diseases hepatitis B & C (jaundice), HIV, syphilis and (in men) chlamydia;
- standard genetic tests:
- chromosome analysis (karyotyping),
- DNA analysis for cystic fibrosis (CFTR-mutation),
- DNA analysis for spinal muscular atrophy (SMN1), and
- a screening for thalassaemia (a blood disorder).
- A family history may be drawn up to identify recurring characteristics in the family history such as life expectancy, physical health, mental stability, etc.
We also look for a good ‘match’: we try to match the donor's blood type and as many of his/her external characteristics as possible with those of the recipient(s). This is why during the preliminary examinations:
- the donor's blood type and rhesus factor are also determined, and
- his/her phenotype profile is mapped, i.e. the external characteristics such as skin type, eye and hair colour, build, etc.
Unfortunately a phenotype match is usually very restricted because of the limited supply.
The donated human tissue is also subjected to extensive medical screening.
- The NAT-test looks for the presence of viruses and allows us to detect HIV (among others);
- With genetic tests we try to exclude as many hereditary risks as possible.