Choosing Egg or Sperm Donor




What questions should you ask about a possible egg or sperm donors medical history?  What type of genetic testing is reasonable to expect?  How can you lessen the risk of genetic diseases?  Our guests to talk about these issues are Dr. Harvey Stern and Dr. Dan Shapiro. Dr. Stern is the Director of Genetics and the Fetal Diagnostic Center at the Genetics & IVF Institute and is Medical Director of Fairfax Cryobank and of GIVF’s Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) program. Dan Shapiro is the medical director of Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta and one of the founders of MyEggBank, the nation’s largest frozen donor egg bank.


+ Highlights of the show (click to expand)

  • What conditions, disorders, or diseases are genetic?
  • What diseases or disorders can be prevented by screening egg or sperm donors?
  • What is the difference between recessive, dominant, and X linked diseases and how does this impact selection of egg or sperm donors?
  • What genetic conditions or chromosomal abnormalities are routinely screened for in gamete donors (egg donor and sperm donor)?
  • Are there additional diseases that can be screened for?
  • How can you be careful when selecting a sperm or egg donor without going overboard?
  • How can recessive carriers of cystic fibrosis make sure that the donor is also not a carrier?
  • Are PKU, Werner’s Syndrome, sickle cell anemia fragile X, hemophilia, spinal atrophy routinely screened for?
  • Is it possible to screen the sperm or the egg before fertilization?
  • If you screen the donor do you need to screen the embryos?
  • PGS preimplantation genetic screening
  • PGD preimplantation genetic diagnosis
  • Does using frozen eggs alter the genetic or chromosomal screening?
  • What do are the most common genetic diseases?
  • We hear about both genetic disorders and chromosomal disorders. What is the difference?
  • How do we screen egg or sperm donors for genetic diseases?
  • How do we screen egg or sperm donors for chromosomal disorders?
  • DNA chip testing.
  • How do these screenings play out when using donor gametes?
  • How reliable are medical histories from egg or sperm donors given that they are so young?
  • PGD vs. PGS?
  • Polar body biopsy?
  • CVS chronic villi sampling
  • Do you need to consider Cytomegalovirus (CMV) exposure when choosing a donor?
  • What are the options for genetic testing during pregnancy?
  • How safe is genetic testing during pregnancy?
  • Is it best to use a sperm or egg donor with your blood type?
  • Is it possible to select only female (Y) sperm in order to avoid an X linked genetic disorder?


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