Genetic Testing

All people carry genetic mutations. Genetic testing can detect some but not all of these mutations and genetic technologies and genetic testing guidelines change over time. [1] These advances allow us to improve upon the screening that is performed on donor applicants. However, there is a lot of variation in genetic screening tests which means that different donors have different genetic testing performed based upon when they entered the donor program. We recommend speaking to your personal healthcare provider to ensure that both the egg source and sperm donor have had appropriate carrier screening.

There are many important considerations when selecting a donor, such as:

  • Some donors are known to be carriers of mutations for one or more genetic conditions.  
  • Different genetic testing laboratories include different genes on their screening panels and change their panels over time.  The recipient and the selected donor may not have been screened for the same genetic conditions.
  • Donors who entered the donor program several years ago may not have not had carrier screening for a condition that is currently recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG).  Clients who select these donors are required to complete an additional acknowledgment form prior to release of tissue so that we can ensure you have the opportunity to consider carrier screening for these conditions on yourself, if appropriate.  

For all of these reasons, results of our donors’ genetic screening tests are available on our website for you to access.  NW Cryobank strongly recommends that all clients download a copy of their donor’s results and speak with their healthcare providers such as a physician and a genetic counselor PRIOR TO SHIPMENT, to discuss:

  • Which tests have and have not been performed on a particular donor
  • The limitations of a donor’s genetic screening, and potential risks to offspring
  • Testing options that a recipient may want to consider on the egg source to further evaluate the risks to offspring

You can locate a genetic counselor in your area at:

Family Medical History

The donor’s family medical history, as known to the donor at the time he enters the donor program, is summarized on his Medical History profile. The Donor Medical History Profiles are available to view and download from our website.

It is possible that new health information involving the donors may become known to us after the donors complete their profiles, or we may become aware of health issues in offspring conceived from their donations.  If any new information indicates a significant risk for a specific health problem in other offspring of the donor, we will attempt to contact clients to whom the information is known to be relevant, such as those clients who have ordered vials from that donor previously.  

All clients are encouraged to contact us to learn of any medical updates involving their donor PRIOR TO using stored eggs, semen, or embryos. This is to ensure they are still comfortable using that donor’s specimens based on all reported family history.  Updates can be obtained by calling our Genetics Department at 877-743-6384.

[1] Office of Science (OS), Office of Genomics and Precision Public Health. “Genetic Testing.” CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 23 Mar. 2020,,changes%20in%20only%20one%20gene.