Which genetic disorders does one test a donor for?

Jan 9, 2020 | Doctor / biolog, Donor parents, Letterbox | 0 comments

 Which genetic disorders does one test a donor for? And can I be sure that my child does not inherit any genetic disorders? I have read about a sperm donor that passed on a disorder to many donor children.

Dear Lauren

The donor is asked about illnesses within their family. If there is a genetic disorder in the family, it is thoroughly researched and the donor candidate will be turned down if there is any suspicion of the donor being able to pass on the illness. Above that, there is tested for specific genetic illnesses with receding inheritance that are prevalent in the donor’s background population. In Denmark it is for e.g muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. When an illness has receding inheritance, it means that both parents have to carry the gene for the disorder, in order for the child to inherit the illness. When you carry the gene disorder, it means that you yourself are a healthy carrier, but you are carrying the gene for the illness which you can pass onto the child. There exist thousands of illnesses with receding inheritance and it is believed that we all carry at least one. Therefore it is impossible to test for everything in that one would not have any donors left.

Most illnesses are either newly emerging or not genetic and therefore there is no guarantee of having a healthy child even though one is having a child with a sperm donor. The risk, however, is a bit less as the sperm donor undergoes a thorough screening program in order to be accepted as a donor.

Best Regards

Maja, Biolog

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