Optimise your chances of a healthy baby

GeneXmatch is a service offered to you as a natural step on your fertility journey. Our donors are selected based on thorough genetic testing to optimise the chances for healthy babies. But as the prospective mother, your genes also have a role to play. GeneXmatch is a way for you to minimise the risk of disease-causing combinations from yours and your donor’s genes.

What we do

We test your recessive genes and match them against the same genes of your chosen donor to identify the risk of more than 390 autosomal recessive serious diseases. If you are a carrier of one or more mutations in the recessive genes investigated, we will only match you with a donor who is not a carrier of a mutation in the same gene(s) as you. This reduces the risk of recessive diseases in your child.
The second test concerns 12 genes located on your X chromosome. If you are a carrier of a mutation in any of these X-linked genes, you have a risk of having an affected child, regardless of the donor. In this case, we will offer you genetic counselling to determine your options and how to proceed on your fertility journey.

It’s easy

The only thing we need from you is a saliva sample. You will receive a test kit from us with full instructions on how to provide and return your sample. You will get your result approximately four weeks after the lab has received your sample.

How to get pregnant v.2 – by PhD Dorte Egeberg

How to get pregnant? The answer might seem simple. But what is really going on? A while ago we explained how important the female cycle is for the chance of conception. This time we will give you the answer from the perspective of a sperm cell. Our new expert, Dorte Egeberg, explains: 

It begins with millions of sperm cells

Millions of sperm cells are ejaculated into the female reproductive tract, where they gain their full ability to swim. To reach the site of fertilization, the sperm cells have to pass through several functional obstacles, many of which require the ability to swim. Hence, the total number of motile sperm cells is a very important parameter to study in the laboratory evaluation of semen quality [1]. The sperm cells are deposited in the vagina enclosed in seminal plasma, a viscous fluid containing factors protecting and nourishing the sperm cells. Inside the female the seminal plasma coagulates and in this way helps the sperm cells staying inside the female in close vicinity to the cervix. Mucus extends from the cervix, enabling passage of the sperm cells from the semen coagulum up into the cervix. Only sperm cells capable of swimming can penetrate the cervical mucus. Furthermore, the mucus excludes the seminal plasma from entering the upper female reproductive tract [2]. This process is mimicked in the processing of IUI-ready samples in the sperm laboratory, where the motile sperm cells are separated from seminal plasma, dead or otherwise abnormal cells. Once through the cervix, the sperm cells swim across the uterus and at the junction between the uterus and the fallopian tubes they have to pass another mucus plug.

About 1 out of 1.000.000 sperm cells enters the fallopian tubes

In humans, of the millions of sperm cells deposited after coitus, only a very few sperm cells have the potential to reach the fallopian tubes. Once inside the fallopian tubes the sperm cells follow clues excreted from the supportive cells of the egg, the cumulus cells [3]. On the way the sperm cells undergo a series of biochemical and functional modifications, collectively referred to as capacitation, which renders the sperm cells ready for fertilization. Eventually, the sperm cells met the barrier of cumulus cells surrounding the egg cell. To pass through the cumulus cells, the sperm cells have to use their very special stroke, known as hyperactivation. But this is not the last obstacle for the sperm cells to pass, i.e. surrounding the egg is an impenetrable shell, the zona pellucida [4]. In order to pass the zona pellucida, the sperm cells have to undergo a very special process called the acrosome reaction, where hydrolytic enzymes are released from a deposit at the top of the sperm cell. These enzymes are capable of breaking down the zona pellucida and in this way allowing the last step of fertilization [5].

Only one sperm cell is needed for fertilization

In the end, only one sperm cell will fertilize the egg. The success of a sperm cell to finalize its primary goal depends on several parameters where each parameter is believed to explain a minor proportion of the total fertilizing ability, and that only sperm cells that possess all these properties will essentially be able to fertilize the egg.

As always, if you have any comments or questions don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

  1. Sakkas, D., et al., Sperm selection in natural conception: what can we learn from Mother Nature to improve assisted reproduction outcomes? Hum Reprod Update, 2015. 21(6): p. 711-26.
  2. Suarez, S.S. and A.A. Pacey, Sperm transport in the female reproductive tract. Human Reproduction Update, 2006. 12(1): p. 23-37.
  3. Eisenbach, M. and L.C. Giojalas, Sperm guidance in mammals – an unpaved road to the egg. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol, 2006. 7(4): p. 276-85.
  4. Liu, D.Y., C. Garrett, and H.W. Baker, Acrosome-reacted human sperm in insemination medium do not bind to the zona pellucida of human oocytes. Int J Androl, 2006. 29(4): p. 475-81.
  5. Overstreet, J.W. and W.C. Hembree, Penetration of the zona pellucida of nonliving human oocytes by human spermatozoa in vitro. Fertil Steril, 1976. 27(7): p. 815-31.

European Sperm Bank at the Fertility Expo in Copenhagen

26-27th of May we will be at the annual Fertility Expo in Copenhagen!

If you are contemplating starting a family soon, already trying, or if you are receiving fertility treatment, Fertilitets-messen is the place for you and everybody in search of knowledge, facts, explanations and dialogue regarding all aspects of infertility and fertility treatment.

9 percent of children born in Denmark every year, are coming in to this world with the help from fertility treatments. Most of the people seeking help at a fertility clinic are couples who are having trouble conceiving; some are suffering from PCOS, some need donor eggs, some need special procedures such as ICSI or IVF. Others are single women and Lesbians who need donor sperm.

One of the reasons to have a fair about fertility is to share knowledge and bring it into focus. Today, we are all probably familiar with friends or family who have needed assistance in trying to conceive. We all need to speak up and openly about it – let’s help each other and spread the word!

Fertilitets-messen aims to break the taboos so often associated with infertility by providing unbiased information and heightened levels of information, enabling you to make an informed choice.

Obviously, we at European Sperm Bank are participating and we are ready to discuss and answer any questions you might have about donor sperm, how to choose a donor, differences between open and non-contact donors etc.

Time and Place

26-27th of May 2018

Docken, Copenhagen

Opening hours

Saturday/Lørdag: 10.00 – 17.00

Sunday/Søndag: 10.00 – 17.00

Get more information here!

Can a poor diet delay pregnancy?

Article from www.24matins.uk

According to a new reaseach from University of Adelaide, which has been published in the Journal of Human Reproduction “Women who shun fruit or eat lots of fast food take longer to get pregnant and are less likely to conceive within a year”.

“These findings show that eating a good quality diet that includes fruits and minimising fast food consumption improves fertility and reduces the time it takes to get pregnant,” said lead researcher Claire Robers, a professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

“We recommend that women who want to become pregnant should align their dietary intakes toward national dietary recommendations for pregnancy,” said lead author Jessica Grieger, a researchers at the University of Adelaide.

You can read the whole article here.

Danish Fertility expert Nanna Stigel has prevously written on the blog on how to increase fertility. She says:

​”Fertility is a complex field to study. Almost every part of one’s body and lifestyle should – in my opinion – be taken into consideration: diet, general lifestyle, medical history, potential lack of nutrition, environmental impact and stress level. It all matters. The essential point is that many of these factors that affect fertility can be changed to the better.

Please see her full post here. 

l’European Sperm Bank vous invite à une réunion d’information à Paris

Nous vous présenterons les différentes techniques de procréation médicalement assistée (telles que l’insémination et la FIV) ainsi que les différents types de don de sperme et la différence entre un donneur anonyme et un donneur ouvert.

La réunion se tiendra en français.

Vous aurez la possibilité de poser toutes vos questions, tant générales que personnelles, pour bien vous préparer à prendre votre décision.

Lors de la réunion, l’European Sperm Bank sera représentée par Lilian Jørgensen, coordinatrice donateurs á ESB et Giulia, sagefemme de la clinique de fertilité Vitanova. Ensemble, nous voulons vous aider à bien vous préparer en répondant à toutes vos questions.

Notre prochaine réunion aura lieu le 07. Juin 2018 de 19H30 a 22H00 á :

Hotel Turenne le Marais, 6 Rue de Turenne- 75004 Paris

Pour toute question, n’hésitez pas à nous contacter!

My husband was a sperm donor

Emma’s husband became a sperm donor at European Sperm Bank before she met him. She wants people to know that the deed of a sperm donor is just as noble as those who donate their blood. She is immensely proud of her husband! But the fact is that many women do not want their partners to be sperm donors, and they are sometimes shocked when they find out that their partner could already have fathered multiple children around the world.

“I donated my sperm…”

I had been going out with my then boyfriend for two months when he suddenly mentioned that he had something serious to tell me. As I was madly in love, I was petrified that he was going to break up with me, but he said, and I clearly remember even though its many years ago: “I believe you and I are going to be together forever, so I need you to know that I was a sperm donor a few years ago”.

I didn’t take it lightly at first – him being a sperm donor, but I must also say that I am incredibly proud that he made the choice of giving a little bit of himself in order to help others. I have both friends, family and colleagues who have struggled to conceive. Before I fell pregnant myself, I actually worried a lot about if this was even possible. We hear a lot about fertility issues in the media. In fact, we hear about it so much that we easily forget that most people luckily, do not have any problems conceiving. But still, what if no one wanted to donate their sperm? What about the families where the man has been diagnosed with cancer and become infertile as a result? What about those who suffer from azoospermia or diseases that are preventing them for having children? Or what about lesbians and their hopes and dreams of having children?

It’s not a taboo, it’s amazing!

I honestly have a hard time figuring out WHY so many women do not want their men to donate sperm, and I cannot help thinking “What if it was YOU? What if you couldn’t have the child you’ve always dreamt of having?”

This goes for both of us, we do not consider children born resulting from my husband’s sperm as our children, or even half siblings to our own children. I know some women would think a lot about “the other children”, but I firmly believe that these other children have a magnificent family where my husband doesn’t play any other role than being “the man that made this possible”. I do like the idea though of sperm donors being open and for the children to be able to contact them, but it’s just not something I think about on a daily basis.

We haven’t been super open about it. It still feels like a private thing and really, my husband did it to help others and there isn’t much else to it. I can say for sure, that I do not worry one bit about any “consequences” of my husband donating his sperm. We have our own family and I feel certain his data is protected by the sperm bank.

What can YOU do?

Are you interested in becoming a sperm donor, or do you know anyone who may be? Please take a look at our website to find out more or call us at +4588771757. Our donor coordinators are ready for any questions you might have! If you are considering using a sperm donor, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@europeanspermbank.com.

“It tears every part of your life away”: the truth about male infertility

This article was published by The Guardian in November 2017. The article is written by  and it provides a significant insight in the thoughts and troubles, that many couples suffering with infertility are struggling with. Especially, the article focuses on the fact, that most practical and emotional support are aimed at women:

My first thought was, ‘Oh, it’s my fault, James says, quietly. He stares at the coffee table through his thick-framed glasses. “I felt helpless. No one was talking about this stuff. You’d go online and there was no male conversation. I’d Google ‘problems having a baby’ or ‘fertility issues’, and the websites that came up were all pink. I’d post in a forum and women would respond on behalf of their husbands. There was nothing for men.” [https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/nov/18/tears-every-part-life-truth-male-infertility-ivf?CMP=fb_gu]

As we at European Sperm Bank previously have written about, sperm counts among western men have halved in the last 40 years according to a recently published study.

Jenny Kleeman adds in the article: “Until recently, the focus of both fertility experts and research scientists has been overwhelmingly on women’s bodies, while male reproductive health has been almost ignored. For decades, the average age of both fathers and mothers has been increasing, but it’s women who have felt the pressure of balancing the need to invest in their careers with the so-called “timebomb” of their own declining fertility. They have been encouraged to put family first and to change their lifestyles if they want to become mothers, at the same time as male fertility appears to have fallen off a cliff.” [https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/nov/18/tears-every-part-life-truth-male-infertility-ivf?CMP=fb_gu]

Please click here to read the whole article. 

Age vs Fertility: The clock is ticking…

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Since the 1960s, with the introduction of birth control, people have been able to plan pregnancies. Combined with an increase in women with high educations and extended careers, parenthood in general is postponed compared to just 70 years ago.

Back then, the average age for a first-time mother in Denmark was 22.7 years old; today, the average is now 29.7.


The natural consequence is an increase in involuntary childlessness and infertility, causing a rise in fertility treatments. As an example, in Denmark in 2011, 13.8% of women aged 35-40 who gave birth, had received assisted conception.

Start early
A study among 10.000 couples attempting to conceive shows that the sooner you start, the better your chances are. And if you want more than one child, you should start even earlier.

Women with no evident fertility issues who only want a single child, should start trying to get pregnant no later than at the age of 35 for a 90% chance to conceive – and be prepared for the possibility of fertility treatment.
Women who want two children, should start at 31, and at 28 for three children.

If the woman does not wish to receive fertility treatment and otherwise has no evident fertility issues, she should start trying 3-5 years earlier than the above. This means that for a 90% chance of having three children, she should start trying to get pregnant at 23.

According to fertility specialist Doctor Kathrine Birch Petersen (MD, PhD, OB/GYN), these numbers will probably surprise many people. Doctor Kathrine Birch Petersen works at the fertility counselling at Seeland University Hospital in Denmark, and she believes that many women have unrealistic expectations of their own fertility:

”The majority of women over 35, who come to our counselling centre, want to know how long they can wait before having their first child. They claim to know that age is the key factor for female fertility, but clearly they are unaware of the actual ages – or they think, that the facts do not apply to them”, she says in an interview.

First-time mothers around the world

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This chart, based on information from CIA World Factbook, UNICEF and China’s Sixth Nationwide Census, shows the average age of first-time mothers around the wold in 2015. The age of the mothers in 141 countries range from 18 to 31.2 years, with the oldest ages being more common in Greece, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Australia and South Korea.
Note, however, that the study only registers ages 18 and up.

The top countries with the oldest first-time mothers:

  1. Greece (31.20)
  2. Australia (30.50)
  3. South Korea, Japan and Italy (30.30)
  4. Switzerland and Luxembourg (30.20)
  5. Singapore, Spain, Hong Kong and Ireland (29.80)
  6. Netherlands (29.40)
  7. Germany and Portugal (29.20)
  8. Denmark (29.10)
  9. Sweden (28.90)
  10. Slovenia (28.80)

 
Other factors play a role
Even though age is the significant factor for female fertility, other factors can affect or even help to improve fertility. So-called “fertility risk factors” like weight, smoking, alcohol, exercise and sexual transmitted infections affect your fertility.

//posted by Michael. Communications specialist at European Sperm Bank


Pregnant abroad

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Some countries still have very strict rules about assisted pregnancies and who may receive treatments. In some places, only married, heterosexual couples can receive fertility treatments, and single women and lesbians couples are denied help.

What do people do then? Many choose to have the treatment at a private fertility clinic in a country, where the treatment is legal… 


“Sandra” (42) is one of those people. She lives in Sweden with her two children, a 4-year-old boy and a girl of almost 2 years of age. Both children were conceived with the help of donor sperm at a fertility clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“When I turned 37, I started to wonder about insemination. I hadn’t found a partner to have a child with and I was beginning to worry about the age perspective. To meet someone new and start a family takes time, and I was running out of time”, Sandra says.

She had no desire to go out to a bar and get pregnant by a stranger, or force someone she had just met to be a parent. Instead she chose a sperm donor, because she knew that when you become a sperm donor, you make a conscious choice to help women have children. “And why not? The solution was right there”, she adds.

Where to go?
Until recently, it was not possible for single women to be inseminated in Sweden, so Sandra looked south of the border and chose a private fertility clinic in Copenhagen.
“I was worried that it would be strange and confusing to have such an important and intimate procedure in a different place, and I was scared that I would feel lost. But from the first contact with the clinic, it was clear that they had many women coming for treatment from all over the world”, Sandra explains.

“They had all the information about the procedure, they were kind and competent and I felt very safe”.
She made appointments with the clinic and went online to find her sperm donor at European Sperm Bank.

Finding the donor
“There were many sperm donors to choose from, and the selection process was quite easy. I found a handful that I liked based on the physical descriptions, and then I chose my favourite after looking at the extended profiles and reading about their hobbies, views on life, family history and all the other information.”

Sandra explains that she used the same donor for both children.

For her, being open and honest about how her children were made is important, so there are no surprises or confusion:  “…and sometimes they ask about why they don’t have a father or something like that, and we sit down and I tell them about what a sperm donor is and how mummy chose the very best one. I guess, as they get older, they may have more questions, so I have all the donor information on my computer for them to read. Also, I chose an open donor, in case they want to say hi to him when they grow up.”

Hard work
Sandra went through three cycles for her first child and two for the second. This meant a lot of traveling and time off work, which was exhausting at times. But for Sandra it was worth it: “You must make sacrifices to get what you want, so the going back and forth was just something that would have to work out. And it did. I still have my job and I got to fall in love with Copenhagen through all my stays there.”

Sandra’s advice to anyone traveling abroad for fertility treatment is:

  • Contact more than one clinic and pick the one you like best. Feeling safe and in good hands is more important than a few bucks.
  • Most clinics are open during weekends and some holidays, so you don’t have to take that many days off work.
  • Plan your trips as best you can – and take advantage of your “mini-vacation”. Book at nice hotel room, go and explore the city, have nice meals. Some fertility clinics can even help you with the practical details.
  • And make sure that you get to choose the donor yourself with as much information about the donor as you can have.

Looking for a clinic?
If you need help finding a fertility clinic, we are happy to guide you as best we can. Please contact us for more information.

//posted by Michael, Communications Specialist at European Sperm Bank

Ready to have a child? Come to Fertilitets-messen in Copenhagen!

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Fertilitets-messen, the first ever fertility expo in Scandinavia, takes place at Bella Center Copenhagen 22-23 April 2017.

If you are thinking about starting a family, already trying, or if you are receiving fertility treatment, Fertilitets-messen is the place for you!

​Here, you and everybody in search of knowledge, facts, explanations and dialogue regarding all aspects of infertility and fertility treatment.


For the first time ever in Scandinavia, Fertility Link hosts a large expo in Bella Center Copenhagen with numerous expositions and seminars.

One of the reasons to have a fair about fertility is to share knowledge and bring it into focus. Today, most people are probably familiar with friends or family, who have needed assistance in trying to conceive. We all need to speak up and openly about it – let’s help each other and spread the word!

9 percent of children born in Denmark every year come in to the world with the help from fertility treatments. Most of the people seeking help at a fertility clinic are couples, who have trouble conceiving; some are suffering from PCOS, some need donor eggs, some need special procedures such as ICSI or IVF. Others are single women and lesbians, who need donor sperm.

Fertilitets-messen aims to break the taboos so often associated with infertility by providing unbiased information, and heightened levels of information, enabling you to make an informed choice.

We at European Sperm Bank are participating and we hope that you will come and meet us at booth number 09. We are ready to discuss and answer any and all questions you might have about e.g. donor sperm, how to choose a donor, differences between open and anonymous donors etc.

Would you like a free ticket?
We have 10 day passes to give away, so hurry up and email us, if you would like a free ticket.

We look forward to seeing you!

Time and Place
22 and 23 April 2017 from 10:00 to 17:00 at Bella Center Copenhagen. Show on map
More info at http://www.fertilitets-messen.dk/en/

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Keep an eye out for the bike and the balloons!