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Scary-sperm bank doesn't confirm sperm donor info?!


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#1 piggypower

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 05:32 AM

Hi everyone. I just read this and it freaked me right out. According to this, xytex doesn't verify information that donors give to the bank? This is really really frightening. :(

https://www.thestar....gia-police.html

#2 BrandyRelaxing

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 02:23 PM

None of them do!  It's a risk you take in using donor sperm!


Me: So far all normal, slightly high TSH (3.4) found in January 2014

DH: Azoospermia, likely testicular failure

July 2013 - IVF with ICSI #1 - 13 eggs retrieved, 1 fertilized with mTESE sperm, 3 feriltized with donor sperm, transferred 1 with mTESE sperm - BFN. 

October 2013 - FET #1 - transferred 2 day 3 donor sperm embryos - BFN 

December 2013 - dIUI#1 - Femara cd3-7 - ovulated 3 eggs - double dIUI (Dec 14-15) - BFN

 

January 2014 - dIUI#2 - Puregon 100 IU - ovulated 4 eggs - double dIUI (Jan 9-10) - BFP!!!  yahoo.gif

Jan 22 - beta 77

Jan 24 - beta 225 - 31 hour doubling time!

Jan 26 - beta 537 - 40 hour doubling time!

Jan 29 - beta 1626 - 43 hour doubling time!

Feb 1 - beta 5341 - 44 hour doubling time!

Feb 10 - first ultrasound - measuring on track, and HB of 124!  Blood clot seen on the ultrasound, so told to "take it easy", and I will!

Feb 16 - second ultrasound - measuring on track and HB of 153!  Blood clot pretty much gone!  WOO HOO!

March 3 - fourth ultrasound - 9w3d - still measuring on track and HB of 166!

March 20 - fifth ultrasound - 12w - measuring on track, and HB of 167!

March 23 - found out - it's a girl!!! babygirl.gif

September 26 - Kathryn Laura Elizabeth born, 8 pounds, 9 ounces, happy and healthy!


#3 idream

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 10:57 AM

American Banks are especially shady as the donors have the incentive to lie and since some banks don't limit the number of children or families that use a donor they have no incentive to eliminate donors.  Canada needs to revise there rules on known donors so we can reduce our use of paid donors in the states.

 

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#4 Tess

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 06:24 PM

"Canada needs to revise there rules on known donors so we can reduce our use of paid donors in the states."

 

It's not a known donor issue that's causing a problem.  Unlike the UK, Canada does not require donors to be known.  Unlike Spain, Canada does not require donors to be anonymous.  

 

It's that 2004 or 5 Reproduction law that forbids payment or advertising for sperm or egg.  The section of the law closed down all of the sperm donor banks in Canada with the exception of one.  There are a real small # of Canadian male donors for all of Canada.  It's shockingly small - like 35 or something.  

 

There's especially a real problem with the genetic diversity of ethnic donors, because they are so limited.  Not good for genetic diversity of children.  Everyone in Canada that is matching a particular ethnicity has a very, very small # to choose from if they stick to Canadian donors.    



#5 piggypower

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Posted 02 September 2016 - 08:48 PM

There should be checks and balances to ensure public safety. This guy's sperm created 36 children! The fact that "none of them do!" (verify information from donors) is not good enough. There should be some method of verification. Without laws protecting the people, the banks and the donors have a monetary incentive NOT to be responsible and in fact,  have every reason to actively lie or "enhance" their information. I don't think this is a "buyer beware" scenario. We're not talking about a pair of socks. How is this not blatantly obvious to law makers? 

 

I read a follow-up article about this same case that stated that the woman who worked at Xytex actively encouraged the donor to lie about his IQ and increase it by 30 points. And, more disgustingly, when the clinic was informed of this man's criminal record and mental health issues, they continued to sell his sperm! Certainly, the company should be held responsible at that point.  

 

Whether you pay donors or not is a separate issue. Not paying donors doesn't eliminate the fact that people can lie, and that clinics still have every incentive to enhance information/delete information under some messed up "buyer beware" idea.  

 

You can pay people AND force companies to verify information. How about a simple criminal record check, for one? Yes, the end result would mean that sperm would be more expensive, but if I had to use a sperm donor, it'd CERTAINLY be worth the extra money to ensure that the guy I'm using doesn't have a slew of very serious mental and physical health issues. 



#6 Tess

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Posted 03 September 2016 - 05:57 PM

I don't believe any Canadian clinics require verification for egg donation.  Egg donors fill out a form about their personal and family health history, and may or may not be interviewed by a clinic employee.  Usually the donor speaks to a social worker or therapist.

 

Verification is done by some egg donor agencies in the United States -- background checks, requests for medical records from doctors, and proof of education degrees. But it's uncommon to find this sort of verification for egg donors.  I don't know how the sperm banks work.    



#7 Nerd4Life

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 10:10 AM

I don't believe any Canadian clinics require verification for egg donation.  Egg donors fill out a form about their personal and family health history, and may or may not be interviewed by a clinic employee.  Usually the donor speaks to a social worker or therapist.

 

Verification is done by some egg donor agencies in the United States -- background checks, requests for medical records from doctors, and proof of education degrees. But it's uncommon to find this sort of verification for egg donors.  I don't know how the sperm banks work.    

 

As an egg donor in Canada I can confirm that, in my experience with EH, they did not confirm any of the medical information I provided or my educational background. I was interviewed by a person at EH and when matched had to speak with a counselor at the clinic I was to cycle at (this latter part only if I was actively matched). I was really surprised by this as I had all of my transcripts and everything ready to go and they said it wasn't necessary.

 

In my experience with a donation in the US, my previous non-egg donation related medical records were also not required or requested. As in Canada, there was not really a 'background check' - it's predominantly self-reported. I did have to provide transcripts with some agencies but not with others. There was definitely no consistency in terms of screening at either the US agency or clinic level.  The US clinics also wanted to repeat testing that had already been done in Canada (for example, testing for cystic fibrosis markers) and do way more genetic screening, including for obscure things that I was not ethnically predisposed to.

Edit: I have also so far found EH to be much worse at keeping my availability and other information (such as cycles, pregnancies, births, etc.) up to date than the US agency and they have, on multiple occasions, told IPs that were interested in me that I was available to cycle despite it conflicting with the blackout dates I had given them and without checking with me first. It makes me wish for more semi-known and/or known donations so that I can connect with IPs and ensure that the information they have about me is accurate and up-to-date, ideally cutting the agency out of the equation as much as possible (or completely! Though they can come in handy for some things, like retaining some level of anonymity and coordinating cycle stuff).



#8 piggypower

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 10:35 AM

Whether it's egg donation or sperm donation, the clinics still have an incentive to say a donor is great when they're not. There needs to be more oversight either way.  



#9 Tess

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 12:12 PM

"The US clinics also wanted to repeat testing that had already been done in Canada (for example, testing for cystic fibrosis markers) and do way more genetic screening, including for obscure things that I was not ethnically predisposed to."

 

The US clinics and egg banks are regularly running genetic saliva or blood tests (single-gene) that will screen from between 30-about 100 common genetic diseases/conditions.  It's harder to get these tests in Canada, but it is possible, and clinics in the US can link you with the companies that screen.  They sent us a cup to send back a saliva sample.

 

Some egg donor agencies in the US require verification for educational and other types of reporting.  Others don't - so good to ask the agency and find the ones that do verify.



#10 Tess

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 12:18 PM

Whether it's egg donation or sperm donation, the clinics still have an incentive to say a donor is great when they're not. There needs to be more oversight either way.  

 

There should def. be more oversight.  Canada has put herself completely outside of the situation with the current reproduction laws.  She is basically outsourcing to the US and other countries.  Canadian politicians seem reluctant to talk about the issues -- and definitely don't seem to want to clarify anything.

 

In the US, ASRM as an agency would be a good place to start advocating for regulation.  Not sure if the US could regulate nationally or it would need to be done on a state-by-state basis.  And ASRM does want to keep the government out of regulation.  But might self-regulate if worried that the state would start making laws.

 

Due to abortion politics in the USA, state and national politicians are going to be reluctant to use their political capitol, because anything about reproduction tends to devolve into a hot button debate.

 

There are general privacy issues in the US.  Not sure if the legal system in the US could require someone to reveal medical records.  Also unsure if the government could require a criminal check for reproduction purposes.  The constitutional right to reproduce might overweigh regulations.  



#11 Tess

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 12:29 PM

Whether it's egg donation or sperm donation, the clinics still have an incentive to say a donor is great when they're not. There needs to be more oversight either way.  

 

 

One last thought -- I think donor agencies and sperm banks have a greater incentive to say a donor is great when they're not.   People who run these agencies are almost always not doctors.  They are less knowledgeable and less interested in medical concerns.  

 

When the doctors and medical clinics screen, I think they are more concerned with medical issues.   I felt more comfortable with a reputable medical clinic screening the donors versus an agency who didn't verify. 

 

In a situation where you bring a sperm or egg donor in from an agency, the clinic might not look as closely at the medical history.

 

 The "screening" has already been done by another agency, and you are telling the clinic you want this particular donor sample or donor.  Just as our partners aren't going to be screened -- if the donor is already "chosen" and brought to the clinic, the medical clinic is more likely to assume that you have already chosen that donor sperm/egg.

 

but if the reputable medical clinic is responsible for screening, they tend to apply medical values to the situation -- screening for genetic diseases, and mental health medical issues, in addition to infectious issues.

 

Part of the reason I choose my medical clinic, is that they had a 3-step-in-person interview screening process that was done in person by different people in the clinic.  One of the interview screens was done by a therapist.  The other 2 were done by medical professionals.  Some of the same questions were intentionally asked in the different interviews. 

 

With some agencies the initial screen is all on-line.  Agencies often interview in person (but not necessarily), and the person interviewing is not necessarily a medical professional.



#12 Tess

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 12:35 PM

 

I don't believe any Canadian clinics require verification for egg donation.  Egg donors fill out a form about their personal and family health history, and may or may not be interviewed by a clinic employee.  Usually the donor speaks to a social worker or therapist.

 

Verification is done by some egg donor agencies in the United States -- background checks, requests for medical records from doctors, and proof of education degrees. But it's uncommon to find this sort of verification for egg donors.  I don't know how the sperm banks work.    

 

As an egg donor in Canada I can confirm that, in my experience with EH, they did not confirm any of the medical information I provided or my educational background. I was interviewed by a person at EH and when matched had to speak with a counselor at the clinic I was to cycle at (this latter part only if I was actively matched). I was really surprised by this as I had all of my transcripts and everything ready to go and they said it wasn't necessary.

 

In my experience with a donation in the US, my previous non-egg donation related medical records were also not required or requested. As in Canada, there was not really a 'background check' - it's predominantly self-reported. I did have to provide transcripts with some agencies but not with others. There was definitely no consistency in terms of screening at either the US agency or clinic level.  The US clinics also wanted to repeat testing that had already been done in Canada (for example, testing for cystic fibrosis markers) and do way more genetic screening, including for obscure things that I was not ethnically predisposed to.

Edit: I have also so far found EH to be much worse at keeping my availability and other information (such as cycles, pregnancies, births, etc.) up to date than the US agency and they have, on multiple occasions, told IPs that were interested in me that I was available to cycle despite it conflicting with the blackout dates I had given them and without checking with me first. It makes me wish for more semi-known and/or known donations so that I can connect with IPs and ensure that the information they have about me is accurate and up-to-date, ideally cutting the agency out of the equation as much as possible (or completely! Though they can come in handy for some things, like retaining some level of anonymity and coordinating cycle stuff).

 

 

 

btw- Do you happen to know if Canadian egg donor agencies require an in-person interview?   

 

Was also curious if the US agencies you contacted require an in-person interview?

 

And do you think what happened at this sperm bank could also happen with egg donation?  

 

For example -- once you were matched, did the medical clinics re-screen medical, genetic, and/or family mental health questions?   



#13 piggypower

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 07:37 PM

"The US clinics also wanted to repeat testing that had already been done in Canada (for example, testing for cystic fibrosis markers) and do way more genetic screening, including for obscure things that I was not ethnically predisposed to."

 

The US clinics and egg banks are regularly running genetic saliva or blood tests (single-gene) that will screen from between 30-about 100 common genetic diseases/conditions.  It's harder to get these tests in Canada, but it is possible, and clinics in the US can link you with the companies that screen.  They sent us a cup to send back a saliva sample.

 

Some egg donor agencies in the US require verification for educational and other types of reporting.  Others don't - so good to ask the agency and find the ones that do verify.

Here's the other thing- for the case of Xytex, the people who use their bank are told that there are rigorous screening tests being done! This is an excerpt of an interview from a Toronto Star article. This next bit is about a Canadian woman, Angie Collins, who used Xytex and conceived a child using sperm from the convicted felon:

 

"Collins says she chose Xytex because of its large, reportedly high-quality donor selection and claims of rigorous screening. “You can rest easy knowing right up front (that) every Xytex donor ranks in the top 1% of the population in health and wellness,” Xytex’s website boasts.

Xytex tests donors and their sperm for infectious diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis, according to the website. The company says it requires a physical exam, psychological exam, completion of an extensive questionnaire that delves into personal and family medical history, and genetic testing for a number of conditions, including cystic fibrosis"

https://www.thestar....t-he-wasnt.html

But, in an open letter from Xytex, this is how they responded:

"In this case, the donor underwent a standard medical exam and provided extensive personal and health information," O'Brien's (president of Xytex) statement says.

"He reported a good health history and stated in his application that he had no physical or medical impairments. The information was passed on to the couple, who were clearly informed the representations were reported by the donor and were not verified by Xytex."

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...stake-1.3620550

I would argue that their bold statements on rigorous testing are purposefully misleading. How does one define "rigour?" "Rigorous screening" and self-reporting don't really work together. I'm going to report my income at $500 000 a year. I'm 5 foot 10 inches and my measurements are 36 -24-36. I'm a  Rhodes Scholar, and spend all my spare time between my two charities: one that researches childhood cancer, and the other that provides technology in the form of computers and wifi to low-income families in the Rust Belt. Wow, That was easy!