Genetic Testing

Genetic health problems can be passed on from the sperm donor or egg donor to the child.

It is therefore important to have as much information as possible about the donor's family medical history, in order to rule out the possibility of genetic problems. Ideally this information should go back as far as 4 generations, this would include, the donor's parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

If you do not have sufficient information about the sperm donor's or egg donor's family health history, or you have any concerns regarding genetic health problems, then it would be advisable to speak to your GP about genetic health testing. Alternatively many fertility clinics will offer genetic testing.

The following genetic testing should be considered:

  • Chromosome analysis (all donors)
  • Cystic fibrosis (all races, especially European ancestry)
  • Tay-Sach's disease (if Jewish or French Canadian)
  • Sickle cell disease (if African, Middle Eastern, Indian, South American or Carribean ancestry)
  • Thalassemia (if Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern, Chinese, East Indian, African or South East Asian ancestry)

The following genetic tests should be considered for all donors with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry:

  • Canavan disease
  • Familial Dysautonomia
  • Fanconi Anaemia type C
  • Gaucher disease
  • Niemann-Pick type A disease
  • Canavan disease