Check Donor Medical Status
What is Check Donor Medical Status?
Donor Medical Status is a donor classification that indicates if a donor has been restricted due to a significant medical issue in an offspring. Not all medical issues reported result in a restriction. Those determined to increase the risk to other offspring do result in the donor being restricted. To the best of our knowledge, all donors start the program without known significant medical or hereditary issues in themselves or their offspring. But a donor’s medical status can change with time. He may now be restricted for medical issues or be under investigation, in which case we want you fully informed. Read more about how we inform clients about these medical issues. Information on donor availability is not provided as part of this system.
Who should use Donor Medical Status?
If you purchased units and still have them stored offsite, we are encouraging everyone with a Fairfax Cryobank donor semen sample or an embryo created from that semen to check your donor medical status prior to use in a fertility procedure.
Donor Medical Status can also inform families who already have a child with this donor if there are issues with the donor that may affect them.
This process also allows you to check donor medical status at regular intervals once your child is born or while your units are in long term storage. If you prefer to contact us directly, please do so by calling Client Services at 800-338-8407.
How do I check my Donor's Medical Status?
If you are a Canadian client who purchased from one of our distributors you will need the following:
1. your distributor's account number (CAN-AM or Outreach Health Services or ReproMed) and
2. your donor number
Error messages may be explained by going to the FAQs on this page.
If you are having problems or do not have this information, please call Client Services at 800-338-8407.
International clients can contact Client Services for the Fairfax Cryobank account number to use or contact the International distributor directly.
What are the different donor medical status classifications?
Donor Medical Status falls into one of several categories:
NO RESTRICTION: This donor is not restricted and has no investigations pending. Use of this specimen is considered appropriate at his time. No increased risks for significant medical conditions in donor offspring have been identified.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: A report of a medical problem in one of the offspring has been reported. Collection of medical records and waiting for possible testing results are currently in progress. An evaluation by the Medical Geneticist is ongoing. No final decision has been made as to future risk to other offspring from this donor. More information can be obtained by calling 1-800-338-8407 and asking for the Genetic Counselor. Provide the donor number and describe your situation when calling.
TESTING NOT CURRENT: The donor met and passed all Fairfax Cryobank testing standards at the time he was donating and when his units sold in the past. This donor is not restricted and has no investigations pending. Any future sales of this donor require that the purchaser be made aware of the testing issues for this donor and review, sign and return an informed consent document that includes this information. Request details and/or a copy of the informed consent document from Client Services at 800-338-8407.
See common examples of the tests that result in this ‘Testing Not Current’ status.
All Testing Not Current donors have units stored for clients onsite with Fairfax Cryobank or may on rare occasion have units for sale. Once all units of a donor are gone (sold out and all stored units have been shipped off site) the Testing Not Current donor will change status to No Restriction.
See the current testing standards of our donors.
RESTRICTED: An offspring with medical issues believed to increase risk to other offspring has been reported. Use of this specimen is not recommended. Please contact our genetic counselor for details at 800-338-8407. Specimens from this donor may be used after you review, sign and return an informed consent document to us. Often there is only a small risk with many issues present at birth or not at all. If you have a child by this donor already there may only be a minimal risk. Call for details.
Our policy for a medical restriction is to inform all doctors of record that had a patient who used this donor. We provide them the list of patients and the doctor determines who needs to be informed. Those who have conceived, had a child and or have units or embryos in storage will need to be notified. If patients have storage accounts with us, they will be notified by us via letter of the medical update.
I am entering my account information correctly but I keep getting an error message?
You could receive an error message for numerous reasons. Please be assured that this does not mean there is a problem with your donor. Here are a few reasons for error messages and what you can do to remedy them:
Your information is not entered correctly - please review your invoice or packing slip.
Order number - found in the upper right hand corner
Customer ID - found directly under the "bill to" box
Account number - found in the upper right hand corner - this is the physician’s account under which you placed the order
All donor numbers have at least 4 digits and/or letters - if you are entering a 3 digit donor number try adding a 0 in front of the number
Your purchase may have occurred prior to the conversion into our current computer system - please call 800-338-8407 for assistance.
My donor semen was ordered by my doctor's office, I don't have a customer number. How can I access the donor's medical status?
If you are an international client, or units were ordered for you by your doctor's office, you will not have a customer number. You can contact Client Services by email and provide them your name, name of the physician's group that ordered your donor sperm for you and the donor number. With this information, Client Services will be able to email you your donor's medical status.
Why would a donor become restricted?
A child has been reported with a medical condition that could pose an increased risk to other children born from this same donor. An example would be a child born with a rare disease where we determine the donor and mother are both carriers. Other offspring would have a small risk, typically less than 1%.
In the general population every pregnancy has about a 3%-4% risk of producing a child with a birth defect or mental deficiency. Our extensive screening and testing reduces this risk, but cannot eliminate it. We ask physicians and clients to notify us whenever they believe a child born by donor sperm has any medical condition. In the rare cases when we receive such notice, we immediately remove that donor from sale and investigate the report. While we are gathering information the donor's status will be "Under Investigation." We ask for a physician's written diagnosis, and a family, medical and pregnancy history on the mother. If our Medical Director determines that using the donor could increase the risk of the occurrence of a medical condition and/or birth defect above the risk in the general population, we will restrict that donor, meaning that his sperm is no longer available for sale to the general public. This type of restriction applies to all units that were sold and are unused regardless of when they were purchased. An investigation can take as little as a day to resolve but can also take several months as we communicate with medical personnel and family members about a situation. An investigation that does not result in a restriction allows the donor to return to a No Restriction status. For more information, please see the donor and offspring medical evaluation page on our website.
Why do I need to check donor medical status prior to use?
We want you to have complete and up-to-date medical information prior to using any unit so that you can make an informed decision about the use of that unit. If you have purchased a unit, had it shipped and stored offsite for a period of time, there is a small chance the donor’s status may have changed. Other couples may be pursuing IVF and have embryos stored for future use. You need to know if there is a restriction or an ongoing investigation before you inseminate or transfer an embryo using that donor’s semen. We do attempt to contact purchasers of restricted donors through their physician of record, but that system may not work well for everyone. This online system is designed as a back-up system so that patients can check their donor's status 24/7 prior to use of their donor sperm.
How does Fairfax Cryobank contact clients with the news of a restriction or investigation?
There are certain circumstances where we do not contact clients with updates. We do not contact clients about ongoing investigations. For a donor in investigation we want to resolve the outstanding questions, verify the medical information and discuss the outcome with our geneticists. If an increased risk does indeed exist, the donor will be restricted for medical cause. It is when a donor is restricted for medical cause that we will now notify clients through their doctor of record. A letter is sent to the doctor with the medical explanation and a list of patient(s) who ordered that donor. If a patient is pregnant, has a child by this donor or has units in storage, they should be contacted with the information. If a patient has a storage account with us, they will be notified by letter from us of the medical update. Patients can also stay informed of their donor medical status through this new online process. It is intended as a back-up to the physician notification process.
Do I need to call Fairfax Cryobank if my donor conceived child has a significant medical issue?
Yes, we would like to know: please contact Client Services. It is not unusual for us to hear that a problem is being discussed in an online chat room, yet never has been officially reported to us. We have a genetic counselor who can address issues with you privately. When we receive notice of a medical problem with one of our donor’s offspring, we immediately remove that donor from sale and investigate the report. We carefully gather as much information as possible, including a physician’s written diagnosis and a family history on the mother. To learn more about medical updates, please visit our donor and offspring medical evaluation page.
What are examples of tests that make a donor medical status ‘Testing Not Current’?
Units sold previously still fully comply with the standard of testing in place at the time of the purchase. All the testing a donor did undergo was negative and/or did not increase risks to the recipients. The testing standard in place when his units sold was considered satisfactory at the time. If we are unable to perform the upgraded testing on the donor (he may no longer be donating and/or not be readily available for testing and/or have only a few units left for purchase) he will be placed into the ‘Testing Not Current’ status. All Testing Not Current donors have units stored for clients onsite with Fairfax Cryobank or may on rare occasion have units for sale. Once all units of a donor are gone (sold out and all stored units have been shipped off site) the Testing Not Current donor will change status to No Restriction. See the current testing standards of our donors.
Two of the most common examples are described below:
Cystic Fibrosis(CF) screening of donors started many years ago. As the years passed the technology became better and more and more mutations within the CF gene were identified. We went from testing approximately 10 mutations for CF in the 1990s to testing over 80 mutations in 2005. Donors tested for CF MUST test negative to be a donor. The amount of mutations tested determines the donors underlying risk of being a carrier. If 16 mutations are tested negative, the residual risk is 1/185. If 86 mutations test negative, the risk goes down to 1/325. Both risks are less than 1%. Once families understand the testing limits, units can be sold to families who desire full siblings. Thus we require an Informed Consent be reviewed, signed and returned prior to shipping the units. Placing the ‘Testing Not Current ‘status on this donor allows us to carefully monitor how the units are sold today. Remember, units sold previously still fully comply with the Fairfax Cryobank standard of testing in place at the time of the purchase.
Infectious disease testing methodology upgrade: With the advent of DNA technology we have been able to progress from doing culture based testing (serology) to actually looking for the DNA of the infectious agent in the blood or semen (NAT testing by PCR). Our parent company, the Genetics & IVF Institute, has been at the forefront of this technology since its inception in 1983. Our sperm bank testing standards continue to be at the cutting edge, setting standards for the other sperm banks to follow. Once families understand the testing limits, units can be sold to families who desire full siblings. Thus we require an Informed Consent be reviewed, signed and returned prior to shipping the units. Placing the ‘Testing Not Current’ status on this donor allows us to carefully monitor how the units are sold today. Remember, units sold previously still fully comply with the Fairfax Cryobank standard of testing in place at the time of the purchase.
I don’t know if my pregnancy or birth has been reported to you- what should I do?
Please report your pregnancies and births on-line and we will determine if it has already been reported. It is very important that we hear from everyone who has successfully had a pregnancy and/or birth with one of our donors. It allows us to monitor offspring births and comply with our standards for limiting the number of family units and geographic distribution of a donor’s offspring. (See details of our policy on Limiting Donor Births.) Pregnancies and births can now be reported to us online by families. If you have not reported your pregnancy to us or are unsure if your doctor reported it to us earlier, please do so now. Report a Pregnancy or Birth Here.
I want to know if the donor I am interested in still has units for sale. Will donor medical status tell me about donor availability?
Donor Status is not intended to provide availability information. Here is how you can check availability:
Your donor is a No Restriction donor: go to the online donor search feature of our site. If the donor number does not appear after you click ‘Find Donors’, then the donor is sold out. If you place the donor number in the ‘Donor Number’ field, availability is indicated on the page that comes up.
Your donor is an Under Investigation donor: call Client Services at 800-338-8407. These donors will not appear on the donor search.
Your donor is a Testing Not Current donor: call Client Services at 800-338-8407. These donors will not appear on the donor search. Purchase of available units requires an informed consent.
Your donor is a Restricted donor: call Client Services at 800-338-8407. These donors will not appear on the donor search. If units are available they may be sold only to those families who desire a full sibling and only after a signed informed consent has been received.