We are delighted to introduce you to our new sperm donation experts, Xytex. Over the coming months, the team at Xytex will be helping us to understand everything there is to know about sperm and donation. To start though, we wanted to learn more about them….
Xytex hello! So, in a nutshell (excuse the pun!), can you tell us what you do and how you are helping people across the world realise their dreams of parenthood?
Since 1975, Xytex has been providing the expertise needed to help people fulfil their dreams of starting or growing a family through sperm donation. As an international cryoservices leader, we are committed to unsurpassed quality and giving our clients an experience to cherish for a lifetime.
Is it right that although you are based in the US, you help people across the world?
Yes, we do! Xytex ships to over 30 countries worldwide in accordance with the regulations by country.
How does the process work for someone who needs a sperm donor?
After a client chooses their donor, they can place an order online or with Xytex’s Client Relations team over the phone. Once the order is completed, with all paperwork signed and payment received, Xytex arranges for the order to be shipped to the country and/or clinic of the client’s choice. We suggest clients plan ahead and have their order shipped the month prior to their treatment. This helps alleviate the additional stress of waiting for a shipment to arrive.
How do you as a reputable sperm bank, reassure patients that the sperm you supply is healthy, trusted and safe?
The health and medical history of our donors are of utmost importance. While each donor is different, they all go through the same thorough screening process.
- Each candidate completes a medical history questionnaire (MHQ).
Detailed questions will be asked about his health status and family medical history.
- Each candidate provides a semen sample for analysis.
We assess sperm count, volume, motility, and additional factors to determine the 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 a psychological assessment.
This process includes a complete behavioral analysis and psychosocial and risk assessments, 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.
*All donors entering the program after 2017
We evaluate all donors for hereditary conditions using an extensive medical history questionnaire and carrier testing for 302 genetic conditions. *
* Our donors are continually tested while in the program.
* For donors entering the program in 2019 or later, testing includes 283 genetic conditions; for donors entering the program April 2021 or later, testing includes 302 genetic conditions.
Xytex prepares all vials with 0.5 milliliters of specimen, prepared to contain a specific number of motile sperm cells. MOT refers to the total number of motile sperm cells in 1 milliliter of sample. The minimum number of motile sperm in each vial is one half of the MOT number.
Here are two examples:
An unwashed vial (25MOT) that is loaded with 0.5 milliliters of sample will carry a minimum of 12.5 million motile sperm.
A washed vial (20MOT) that is loaded with 0.5 milliliters of sample will carry a minimum of 10.0 million motile sperm.
*For donors entering the program in 2019 or later.
Is there a limit on how many times a donor can donate?
Each donor situation is very different. However, Xytex carefully reviews the donor’s duration in our program, the number of specimens obtained, and the total number of vials processed.
Where do you get the sperm?
Xytex recruits donors from 5 locations in the US. These sites are conveniently located near colleges and universities to attract a diverse population of donors.
Where do you keep the sperm?
The sperm is cryopreserved (frozen) and stored at our main Xytex location ready to be shipped to the client’s clinic.
If I am having IVF in a clinic in London, can I request to use sperm from your donor bank?
Our U.K. clients can choose from an abundant supply of donors, while meeting the requirements of HFEA (The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority). Unlike donors available to U.S. clients, donor anonymity is not permitted in the U.K. An Identity Disclosed Donor must sign an agreement that allows his identifying information to be released to reported offspring once they reach the age of 18.
In addition to being Identity Disclosed Donors, U.K. compliant donors’ samples have a ten-family unit limit. Because of this ten-family limit, a donor is only U.K. compliant for a fixed amount of time. Once a donor has reached his ten-family limit, he is no longer available for other families in the U.K.
Are there big differences in donor legalities across the globe?
Each country has Regulations governing the importation and use of sperm, which Xytex strictly adheres to.
How long has Xytex been in business?
Since 1975, Xytex has helped tens of thousands of people realize their dream of starting or growing their family.
What is an Identity Disclosure Donor?
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 connect, it is not a guarantee of contact.
Since 2019 Xytex only accepts ID-disclosed donors.
Why does Xytex freeze its sperm?
Fresh semen is unsuitable for sperm banking, as it begins to lose its fertility within an hour or two of 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 called cryopreservation, which gives semen a survival period of ten years. It is the only way sperm can be shipped from our bank to a client, no matter where they live. 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, such as 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.
If you have any questions for Xytex, you can contact them by clicking here. You can also follow them on Instagram, @xytexofficial.