FDA Sperm and Egg Donor Requirements – are some outdated?

2022-05-04T18:02:00+00:00May 4th, 2022|3rd Party Reproduction, LGBTQ, Surrogacy|

We wanted to quickly take a minute to cover a current hot topic in the fertility industry – FDA Sperm Donor regulations. It is important to note that the FDA puts forth regulations for donating in the interest of protecting both the recipients and potential children that come from donor eggs/sperm. They have similar regulations for organ donation, tissue donation, and blood donation.

List of regulation test requirements for egg and sperm donors:

  • Gonorrhea and Chlamydia scrrening
  • HIV-I and HIV-II screening
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen and Hepatitis B core antibody
  • Hepatitis C antibody
  • Medical History/ physical exam/ and risk factor assessment

What does this mean?

The one we want to draw attention to is “risk factor assessment.” This assessment consists of questions that inquire about a person’s detailed lifestyle habits. Lifestyle questions include drug and alcohol use, and recent sexual history from the past 6-12 months, a major one being if the potential male donor has participated in same-sex sexual encounters.

Per the FDA regulations, men are not allowed to donate sperm if they have had sex with a member of the same sex in the past 6-12 months. This ruling was put in place mostly due to the increased rates of HIV in the gay community during the HIV epidemic in the 1980s. But is this rule relevant today?

HIV statistics

  • Annual HIV infections in the U.S. have been reduced by more than two-thirds since the height of the epidemic.
  • From 2015 to 2019, new infections among young gay and bisexual men (ages 13-24) dropped 33% overall.
  • HIV can be detected as soon as 2 weeks after exposure with the help of modern technology.

In the United States, before effective treatment was available, about 25% of pregnant mothers with HIV passed the virus to their babies. Today, if you take HIV treatment and have an undetectable viral load, your risk of passing HIV to your baby is less than 1%.

What do you think?

With modern medical advancements and treatment HIV has become a more manageable disease with an extremely low risk to pregnant mothers and children. This partnered with the declining rates of HIV among the gay community has many calling for a reform in the FDA regulations – stating that if the potential donor passes all the required tests, they should be able to donate despite their sexual orientation/activity. This same rule has been changed already for other donation services like blood and organ donation, opening up a wider pool of potential donors for many. The FDA has confirmed they will review the current regulations and discuss potential amendments within the coming year.

New Hope and the LGBTQ+ community

Since 2004 – the founding year of New Hope Fertility, we have brought state-of-the-art fertility treatments to our LGBTQ patients. Today, we continue to pursue our mission of reducing the physical, emotional, and financial toll the fertility journey may have. The fertility industry is no place for inequality or prejudices.

We believe that every person has the right to have a family with:

  • No sexual orientation judgments
  • No gender bias
  • No personal or religious judgments

New Hope Fertility Center offers various fertility treatments for the LGBTQ community including:

Why New Hope?

New Hope Fertility Center is home to world-renowned fertility specialists. We custom design fertility treatments for the individual to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Our specialists believe in putting the patient first and being with them through every step of the fertility journey. Our team is well versed in helping women of all ages reach their fertility goals and we are passionate about educating, and supporting our patients throughout their journey. If you want compassionate fertility care, New Hope is the right place for you. Call us at (347) 970-8479 or schedule your initial consultation today!