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First Steps

Feeling overwhelmed by all the information and preparation that goes into pursuing parenthood through sperm donation? We’re here with answers to your questions, helpful resources and any additional support you may need as you take your first steps on this amazing journey.

Family Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Qualifications

  • Since 1975, we have been providing the expertise needed for those to fulfill their dreams of starting or growing a family.  We let you choose from donors that are the industry’s most selective, most tested, and most successful.

    Selective

    Our donors are chosen with you and your future family in mind. All donors must pass a rigorous screening process, which includes personality and behavioral evaluations.

    Tested

    We evaluate all donors for hereditary conditions using an extensive medical history questionnaire and carrier testing for nearly two dozen genetic conditions. Our donors are continually tested while in the program to ensure you receive the healthiest sperm.

    Successful

    Our donors have a minimum 12.5 million motile sperm per 0.5 mL for unwashed units (25 MOT) and 10 million per 0.5 mL for washed units (20 MOT).

    www.xytex.com/about-xytex/quality-commitment

  • To view a current list of licenses, registrations and certifications, please visit our Licenses page. 

    We also adhere to the regulations regarding importation of products by the governments of Switzerland, Australia, and the United Kingdom (HFEA), as well as Health Canada, a federal governing board of Canada.

  • Your fertility journey is a very personal matter, and we respect your privacy. The information you share with us is held in strictest confidence, unavailable to anyone, other than your health care provider, without your prior permission. Your information will not be shared or sold to any other company or institution. Likewise, we respect donor privacy and only release information about our donors with the donor's prior written consent.  Encryption of a patient’s financial information is provided through Authorize.net.

Donors

  • We suggest you select a health care provider to perform your insemination. If you do not have a health care provider that specializes in artificial insemination, our Client Relations team can assist you. We have an extensive list of specialists and can help find one in your area.

    During the donor selection process, we recommend you create an account to search donor profiles and gain access to in-depth information.

    Once you have selected your inseminating health care provider and narrowed your donor choices, contact us at 1-706-733-0130 and our team will walk you through the ordering process.

  • We understand the desire to remain unknown, which is why we offer Anonymous Donors that have chosen not to disclose their identity.

    *As of January 2019, Xytex no longer accepts Anonymous Donors.

  • We understand the desire for a child to be able to connect with a sperm donor. That’s why Xytex provides Identity Disclosure Donors. A donor who participates in the Identity Disclosure Donor Program agrees to the release of his identity once the child turns 18. 

    To be eligible to receive this information, a child's mother, the recipient of the sperm, must sign an agreement and report the child's birth to Xytex. These requirements allow us to verify the child's eligibility to receive such information in the future. While a donor's participation in this program indicates a certain openness to contact, it is not a guarantee of contact.

  • We update our donor listings as changes occur. The online donor database is intended to show which donors are available. While our goal is to display donors with current available inventory, a donor’s inventory can fluctuate. If you are interested in a donor that is currently is unavailable, please contact our Client Relations team to request placement on the donor’s pending list.

  • We require both child and adult photos for our donors. However, you may come across a few donors who joined the program prior to this requirement being implemented.

  • Genetic factors can be an important part of the donor selection process. For more information about genetics and genetic testing, please view our Genetics FAQ on this page.

  • Although there are no laws or regulations in the United States regarding the number of children that can be conceived with sperm from a single donor, we have chosen to limit our donors to 60 family units worldwide. We track the number of children born and family units for each donor through pregnancy and birth reports provided by patients.

    Although we place limits on how many worldwide family units can be conceived using a particular donor, families who have a reported birth by a particular donor may continue to use his supply even if he reaches his worldwide family limit, provided there is available inventory. The easiest way to ensure access to the same donor used to conceive your first child is to buy additional units during your initial purchase. 

    Additionally, our xyLimited Donors offer an even greater peace of mind by limiting the number of worldwide family units to 15 instead of the standard 60. We also offer an Exclusive Donor which provides a single family with access to a donor’s entire inventory, ensuring that no one else can conceive using his supply. This requires the purchase of all of the Exclusive Donor’s units.

  • We will share this information in a qualitative manner.  However, we do not disclose quantitative pregnancy rates because they are influenced by many factors beyond our control. This can include, but is not limited to, the number of times the donor has been selected, how the semen is thawed, the timing and method of insemination, and the fertility of the recipient.

    Still, if a donor has no reported pregnancies, this does not mean that he is infertile. It may simply indicate that a donor has not been in the program very long. As part of our commitment to provide families with the highest quality sperm, we conduct laboratory testing and physical exams on all of our donors to assess their overall health. Our donors are continually tested while in the program, ensuring you receive high quality sperm.

     

Quality Standards

  • At Xytex, the health and medical history of our donors is extremely important to us. While each donor is different, they all go through the same thorough screening process.

    • Each candidate completes a medical history questionnaire (MHQ).
      He will answer detailed questions about his health status and provide family medical history.   
    • Each candidate provides a semen sample for analysis.
      We assess sperm count, volume, motility and additional factors to determine quality of the donation.
    • Each candidate is appropriately vetted.
      A Donor Coordinator interviews the candidate about his personal and family medical history. During this step, the donor also undergoes a background check and education verification process.
    • Each candidate undergoes psychological assessment.
      This process includes a complete behavioral analysis, psychosocial, and risk assessment completed by a clinical social worker and a clinical psychologist.
    • Each candidate undergoes laboratory testing and a physical exam.
      Following the semen sample evaluation, blood and urine samples are taken during pre-screening and are periodically screened throughout continued sperm donation.

    With active participation in the program, donors undergo a physical exam and blood draw every six months. Contingent on inventory demand, some donors may be screened more frequently. A donor who remains in good health can continue to participate in our program until he reaches his 41st birthday, or until he reaches our limit of reported family units.

     

  • During active participation in the program, donors who regularly provide samples of semen and urine undergo a physical exam and a blood draw every six months.

    Upon retiring from the program, we encourage donors to remain in contact with us and stay up-to-date on health information. When our Medical Director learns of medically significant information regarding a donor or offspring, a notice is sent to the inseminating physician and any patient who has used the donor's semen. 

     

  • We conduct laboratory testing and physical exams on all of our donors to assess their overall health. Additionally, we conduct genetic testing on all of our donors to help you confidently choose your family. An extensive list of donor testing can be viewed here.

  • Screening looks for evidence, most commonly symptoms, of a particular infection. Testing involves applying laboratory methods to biologic specimens, such as blood, urine or semen, to determine the presence of a particular infectious agent, such as a bacteria or a virus.

  • Fresh semen is unsuitable for sperm banking, since it begins to lose its fertility within an hour or two after ejaculation. Because a sperm bank is expected to have semen available from a diverse set of donors with different physical characteristics and different talents, it is necessary to store sperm from the time of collection until it is needed. We accomplish this through a special freezing process of cryopreservation, which gives a survival period of ten years. It is the only way sperm can be shipped from our bank to a faraway patient. Once thawed, cryopreserved sperm can be as fertile as fresh sperm.

    Sperm is also cryopreserved to allow a quarantine period and retesting of a variety of diseases, most importantly the HIV virus that causes the potentially-lethal AIDS infection. Freshly collected sperm must be stored for a minimum of six (6) months before repeat testing of the donor. Repeat testing includes HIV 1/2 + O antibodies, HTLV I & II antibodies, hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B core antibody, hepatitis C, HIV/HCV/HBV NAT, RPR, TP-PA, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies. Donors are also tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea and receive a full genital (semen) culture.

    Scientists believe the potential for long-term storage is indefinite, assuming adequate maintenance of low temperature.

    We use a “Freezing Medium” produced by Irvine Scientific. It is FDA approved for freezing semen for use in assisted reproductive procedures. It is composed of a balanced salt solution, an antibiotic (gentamicin sulfate), glycerol, and heat-inactivated egg yolk.  Please consult your physician if you are allergic to gentamicin sulfate or egg yolk protein.

  • A comparison of human births resulting from thawed semen shows no difference in the rate of birth defects or miscarriage than in non-assisted pregnancies.

Process

  • We encourage you to create an account and browse through hundreds of the best sperm donors. With our interactive features, you can view child and adult photos and gain insight from donors’ personal essays. When narrowing your search, we urge you to choose several of your top picks, and rank them in order of preference.

    When you’re ready, give us a call, and we will check availability of your top picks. We will make every effort to secure your first-choice. However, due to normal fluctuations in our inventory, this is not always possible. Also, if you are considering additional children, the best way to ensure access to the same donor used to conceive your first child is to buy additional units during your initial purchase.

    There are additional factors to consider before placing your order that you should discuss with your health care provider. These items include, but are not limited to, expected day of ovulation, the type of units needed for your procedure and the number of units needed for your procedure. We recommend planning to have your units delivered a day or two prior to ovulation.

  • This is a question for your health care provider. An insemination unit is 0.5 milliliters and is usually sufficient for one insemination. Some physicians use a single unit during the fertile time, while others prefer additional units. Our donors have a minimum 12.5 million motile sperm per 0.5 ML in unwashed units and 10.0 million motile sperm per .5 ML in washed units.  

  • An unwashed unit is frozen in its most natural state, allowing sperm to remain in its natural seminal fluid. A washed unit separates the sperm from its natural seminal fluid and is frozen in a preserving fluid. Removing seminal fluid helps minimize cramping that can result from prostaglandins, hormones that cause the uterus to contract.

    Washed units should be used in IUI procedures, as unwashed units injected into the uterus can cause cramping. In addition to being extremely painful, it will most likely result in the loss of injected sperm. Both washed and unwashed samples can be used for ICI or intracervical inseminations. ART samples are processed in exactly the same way, the only difference being the minimum number of motile cells.

  • You or your health care provider can place an order by calling our Client Relations team at 706-733-0130. However, shipments will only be sent once your health care provider signs our Supply Agreement form.

  • Your order is shipped FedEx next day or 2nd day depending on what option you select. Please note that we only ship orders Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST and our representatives are only available to communicate about your order during these times.

  • Each unit arrives frozen in a screw-cap unit that is clipped to a metal support rod (a cane) to aid removal from the refrigerated tank (dry shipper). The tank is cooled with liquid nitrogen trapped in spongy material to prevent spillage, hence the name dry shipper. Each tank is shipped in a cardboard box and the shipment includes a packing slip with the Summary of Records (required by the FDA), thawing instructions, a letter from our Medical Director, a return shipping label and applicable invoices. 

  • Once you have selected the perfect donor, simply place your order. The units will be shipped to your health care provider’s office in a sealed, refrigerated tank that will preserve your sample(s) for up to seven days. *24 hour and two-day delivery options are available.

  • We are willing to send your donor specimen to any address specified on your order form, but there are some items that you will need to consider. While some states prohibit insemination by anyone other than a licensed physician, some require that a husband provide written consent prior to insemination in order for his name to be placed on the birth certificate. Others require proof of insemination with an anonymous donor semen in order for the recipient’s partner to be placed on the birth certificate as a parent. 

    Regardless of the destination of the shipment, we do require patients be under the care of a health care provider. Your health care provider must sign an Authorization to Ship to an Alternate Location form prior to having any specimens shipped directly to you. Please consult with your health care provider on all matters relating to inseminations, including the decision to inseminate at home.

  • We accept cash, check, money order. and all major credit cards.

  • Sign in to “My Account” and visit the Birth Report tab.

  • We do not restock specimen that has left our warehouse. Once it leaves our facility, we can no longer guarantee its quality.

    The easiest way to ensure access to the same donor for future inseminations is to buy additional units during your initial purchase, and request to store them at our facility until needed.

  • We recommend that you request your shipment to arrive at least three days prior to insemination. FedEx Priority Overnight shipping will arrive the next business day by 12 pm. FedEx Two-Day shipping will arrive the second business day by 12 pm.*

    *Overnight shipping may be affected by weather or Federal Express equipment failure. To help ensure your vials arrive in time, please plan for your shipment to be delivered 3 days prior to your insemination

  • Since 1975, we have been providing the expertise your patients need to fulfill their dreams of starting or growing a family.  We let your patients choose from donors that are the industry’s most selective, most tested and most successful. 

    Selective

    Our donors are chosen with your patient and her future family in mind. All donors endure a rigorous screening process, which includes personality and behavioral evaluations. 

    Tested

    We evaluate all donors for hereditary conditions using an extensive medical history questionnaire and carrier testing for nearly two dozen genetic conditions. Our donors are continually tested while in the program, ensuring you receive the healthiest sperm.

    Successful

    Our donors have a minimum 12.5 million motile sperm per 0.5 mL in unwashed units and 10.0 mL motile sperm per 0.5 mL in washed units.

  • To view a current list of licenses, registrations and certifications, please visit our Licenses page.

    We also adhere to the regulations regarding importation of products by the governments of Switzerland, Australia, and the United Kingdom (HFEA), as well as Health Canada, a federal governing board of Canada.

  • We comply with expectations published by the FDA in regards to Human Cells, Tissues, and Cellular and Tissue-Based Products (21 CFR Part 1271).

  • While we are willing to send donor specimen to any address specified on a patient’s order form, regardless of the destination of shipment, we do require a patient be under the care of a health care provider.

    If you are willing to authorize a home shipment, you must sign an Authorization to Ship to an Alternate Location form prior to having any specimens shipped directly to the patient.

  • You want someone to care for your patients with compassion, support, and expert guidance. We offer an empowering experience which provides them with the best chance of conceiving a healthy baby. With Xytex, you get a partnership based on shared goals. It’s more than a transaction.

    To start a partnership and establish a Physician Account, we ask that you complete a Supply Agreement form that will allow you to designate the party responsible for paying for services – the clinic or the patient. Orders may be placed by the health care provider, clinic employees, but all orders will be confimed with the clinic prior to shipment.

  • We conduct laboratory testing and physical exams on all of our donors to assess their overall health. Additionally, we conduct genetic testing on all of our donors to help your patients confidently choose their family. An extensive list of donor testing can be viewed here. 

    During active participation in the program—those who regularly provide samples of blood, semen and urine—undergo a physical exam and a blood draw every six months.

    Our screening and testing complies with government licensing agencies and is consistent with guidelines established by the FDA. Additionally, the United States Food and Drug Administration has regulations (21 CFR Part 1271) for screening and testing for specific sexually transmitted infections (STI). In addition to STIs, the state of New York and several organizations expect screening and testing for a few genetic conditions.

  • We recommend you discuss a donor’s CMV (cytomegalovirus) status with your patients. A patient should not be inseminated with specimen from a donor with an active CMV infection or from a donor shedding CMV. CMV may be transmitted by various excretions including semen and affects more than 60% of Americans. Once infected with CMV, an individual likely carries the virus for life. Approximately 1% of American neonates are infected with CMV.  This is most often a result of primary maternal infection or maternal reactivation. Many of these congenital infections are asymptomatic at birth, but 5 to 25% of these infants develop significant psychomotor, hearing, ocular or dental abnormalities. Congenital infections such as these can also result in spontaneous abortion.

    Tests for CMV antibodies can distinguish between current (recent) infection and past infection. Individuals with current or recent infection have IgM antibodies in their blood; once the infection has resolved, these antibodies disappear. Individuals with past infection will have IgG antibodies; these antibodies remain in the blood indefinitely.

    We test our donors for IgG and IgM antibodies at least every six (6) months. Approximately 60% of our donors are IgG positive. None of our donors are IgM positive; we do not accept sperm from IgM positive donors.

    We encourage you to discuss CMV with your patients. You are the most qualified to explain how the issue pertains to her health profile. If you recommend use of a CMV IgG negative donor, please have your patient call us at 1-706-733-0130 to confirm the CMV status of particular donor before placing her order.

  • Each unit arrives frozen in a screw-cap unit clipped to a metal support rod (a cane) to aid removal from the refrigerated tank (dry shipper). The tank is cooled with liquid nitrogen trapped in spongy material to prevent spillage, hence the name dry shipper. Each tank is shipped in a cardboard box. The shipment includes a packing slip with the Summary of Records (required by the FDA), thawing instructions, a letter from our Medical Director, a return shipping label, and applicable invoices.

  • We arrange for pickup of the tank on the eighth day after shipping from our facility. The tank should be sealed in the original shipping box and the return label applied to the outside surface of the box.

    A daily rental fee of $40 applies to any tank kept beyond the pickup date. Given advance notice, we will work with your office to alleviate extenuating circumstances. We hold the health care provider and/or clinic financially responsible, not the patient, for any unreturned or damaged tank.

  • When our Medical Director receives medically significant information regarding a donor or offspring, a notice is sent directly to the client.  If the client is unreachable, we request the assistance of the health care provider or clinic.

  • Many genetic conditions have an autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. To be autosomal recessive, both copies of the gene must be mutated (altered) in order to cause the condition. If only one copy is mutated, a person is considered to be a carrier of the condition but does not have the actual condition. 

  • We conduct genetic testing on our donors to reduce the risk of offspring inheriting autosomal recessive conditions. Each donor's profile includes a list of genetic conditions for which he has been tested.*

    Most of our donors undergo a Target Mutation Analysis where DNA is extracted for the most common mutations of each gene included in the test panel. Mutations of genes can be inherited, but can also arise spontaneously.

     *Genetic testing changes over time and some donors may have been tested for fewer conditions. Donors joining the program after January 2019 have been tested for over 280 carrier conditions.

  • Negative genetic testing only reduces the possibility that a donor is a carrier of a particular condition.

  • While we do accept donors who are found to be carriers of genetic conditions, to purchase sperm of a donor known to carry a genetic condition, a patient must sign a waiver stating her understanding of the associated risks.  

    Additionally, if a female is a known carrier of a specific genetic condition, we will provide a copy of the donor’s test reports so that you can review this information with your health care provider and genetic counselor and make the most educated decision with regards to the health of your potential offspring.

  • It is estimated that 1 in 100 children are born with a genetic condition. The incidence of genetic conditions varies among ethnic groups. For example, sickle cell disease is more common among persons of African ancestry than Caucasians of European descent.

  • xyGene Donors undergo carrier testing for more than 100 genetic conditions*.

    Additionally, if a female is a known carrier of a specific genetic condition, we will provide a copy of the donor’s test reports to the health care provider and genetic counselor.

     

    *donors entering the program after January 2019 have been tested for more than 280 carrier conditions.

  • We understand that you may learn you are carrier of a genetic condition for which a particular donor has not been tested. We currently do not perform additional genetic testing of donors, upon request. To address this issue and offer better choices to women, we offer xyGene Donors as an option for women who have been tested and found to be carriers of conditions for which most sperm donors are not tested. Our xyGene Donors undergo carrier testing for more than 100 genetic conditions.

  • Sequencing of a gene involves reading a gene from beginning to end and comparing the code to a database of known normal and abnormal (pathologic) mutations. This type of testing is more extensive. A negative result reduces the likelihood of carrier status and is more reliable than targeted mutation analysis. We use sequencing to test our xyGene Donors.