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!

Donor sperm is not a discount product

Lately there has been different stories in the Media concerning the purchasing of donor sperm. At European Sperm Bank we would like to summaries, what we believe are very important aspect about the topic Donor Sperm. When choosing donor sperm, it is pivotal that instead of just comparing prices between sperm banks, that we instead focus on why and how sperm banks are different. What they actually offer – besides the sperm.

Accepting the right donors

At European Sperm Bank we make a difference by selecting and having the best donors. Our screening process is probably one of the best and most thorough worldwide. We are extremely critical and will always say NO rather than accept an unknown risk when approving donor candidates. We constantly evaluate and choose the best testing methods and practices to give everyone peace of mind that genetically bound diseases are not transmitted. This is also the reason why we have an in-house employee, a specialized geneticist, who has been in the genetics field for 30 years. Our geneticist is always involved in the evaluation and acceptance of any donor. Since it is our overall goal to help creating wonderful and healthy children we find it crucial to be able to offer exactly this kind of genetic security and counselling as part of the process. Having a donor child is one of the safest ways to have a child. Even so, we must always embrace the fact that we are dealing with nature – and therefore our own imperfect genes.

How we test and screen

Our screening approach is fundamental to how we define ourselves as a sperm bank. It has been the key element in our operations since we were founded in 2004 and it continues to be so as we review and update processes on an ongoing basis. Needless to say, our screening program complies with the regulations set out by the Danish Health Authority and meets and exceeds the EU screening requirements. Compliance is a number one priority with us and you should always look for a sperm bank who is compliant with local authorities.
Core to our approach is that we only accept donors with superb sperm quality (only MOT20+) Luckily, we receive many applications every day from men keen to be donors, but after our thorough testing only 5-7% of the applicants are accepted as donors. We reject a lot of potential donors due to the sperm quality alone, but obviously the donors own and family medical history influences whether one might be accepted or not. We never take any chances.

We care and think about the future

We offer the best and most professional guidance to those in need of donor sperm. We ensure that women and couples experience a positive and valuable difference when contacting us. And we fully understand that using a sperm donor is rarely a first choice. This is also why we take our time to listen and provide the right counselling. Daily we are in contact with women, men and couples from around the entire world who needs help, sparring, good advice or simply a chat about the choice and process they are facing.

Choose European Sperm Bank

Sperm is not a discount product. And shouldn’t be treated as such. Make sure to ask the right questions before you make your choice. Just to be sure what you will get besides the sperm.
The most important statement we can make, is that we help you giving the gift of life. We want to be the ones who made the real difference in your life by providing you with the best quality sperm and the best counselling. This way we believe that happy and healthy children are being born.

Please contact us for more info or start your journey to parenthood here.

Ready to choose a sperm donor? Look at our extended donor profiles here!

So funktioniert das mit der Samenspende

Nachgehakt: So funktioniert das mit der Samenspende – SCHWULISSIMO sprach mit Annemette Arndal-Lauritzen, CEO der European Sperm Bank

Wie sicher sind eigentlich Samenspenden?
Wir sagen normalerweise, dass Spendersamen eigentlich sicherer sind, als wenn ein Kind auf “herkömmliche” Weise gezeugt wird. Denn die wenigsten Frauen lassen ihren Mann testen, bevor sie anfangen, Kinder mit ihm zu zeugen. Unsere Spender z.B. durchlaufen einen sehr detaillierten und anspruchsvollen Screening-Prozess, bei dem sehr gründlich getestet wird. Hierbei überprüfen wir u. A. die Gesundheitsgeschichte der Familie über mehrere Generationen und testen auf mögliche Infektionskrankheiten und natürlich genetische Vererbungen. Und natürlich wählen wir unsere Spender auch nach ihrer Spermaqualität – wobei wir nur diejenigen akzeptieren, die eine sehr hochwertige Spermaqualität liefern können.
Mit anderen Worten, die von uns akzeptierten Spender werden umfangreich getestet. Nur 5 – 7 % der Bewerber werden überhaupt in das Programm aufgenommen werden.

Weiterlesen: http://www.schwulissimo.de/gesundheit/248084/NachgehaktSofunktioniertdasmitderSamenspende.htm

 

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.

“Most men will donate sperm because they want to help”

In October 2017 students at Brand Design at KEA were briefed by European Sperm Bank on a challenge called “How to attract and motivate young men to become sperm donors?”. Here is what one of their lecturers thought about the task. 

If you are in a relationship, your partner has a huge influence whether or not you chose to become a sperm donor”, “Most men will donate because they want to help – not for the money”, “Some men feel the need for spreading their super genes”, “A lot of men don’t volunteer to be a sperm donor cause they fear for the reaction in their surroundings”.

These and many more, were some of the interesting insights our 90 students at KEA Brand Design, were able to conclude after an intense 3 week process. First, we had a briefing session where Annemette Arndal-Lauritzen from European Sperm Bank gave the students a lot of insight and background information to the challenge. After a million questions, initial thoughts and ideas our students went to work.

Every group had to create a video demonstrating their process. See one example here.

The goal for the project was not about creating final executions and strategies to solve the problem, but about gaining insights around the target group. Researching and understanding potential sperm donors, the company and market. Who they are, how they think and feel about the subject, what’s driving or stopping them etc.  We saw many different approaches in this insight hunt. Some did street interviews, some got people to illustrate how they imagine the clinic should look, some held more classic focus groups, others gave the respondents homework to do and we even had one group who asked young men to take photos of the places they would masturbate. They certainly showed many creative ways of getting knowledge.

One of our groups found that a main barrier in becoming a sperm donor is the fear of accidentally bumping into “your offspring” one day in the supermarket. The thought of meeting “mini-me’s” scare them away. The students then asked a focus group to match photos of fathers and children to investigate if the fear was real or not. And it showed that NO ONE were able to pair the right fathers and kids. So maybe this kind of fear and barrier is something to deal with.

Thanks a lot, to European Sperm Bank for giving us this challenge, it was a super project.

By Laura Elmøe, Lecturer at KEA, Brand Design, Copenhagen

Insemination: ICI, IUI, IVF or ICSI? What to choose?

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Thinking of having a baby through artificial insemination?
​Perhaps you have already talked to your doctor and have been told about the many options – and now you cannot tell one from the other.

For most people, this is new territory and yes, it can be confusing.
So here we have listed the four most common insemination options for those women, who wants to get pregnant with the help from a sperm donor.

​​We begin with the least technical procedure and work our way up, so to speak. 


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ICI or Intra-Cervical Insemination
This procedure uses a flexible catheter or device to insert unwashed sperm directly into the cervix – that’s the area behind the vagina, just in front of the uterus.
This procedure can be done at home (so-called Home insemination) or at a fertility clinic, and it is typically the easiest and least expensive method of insemination. It also most closely replicates natural conception.

​Which kind of donor sperm to use?
For the ICI procedure, unwashed or ICI-ready donor sperm is recommended. Remember that ”unwashed” does not mean dirty or untested: ICI-ready semen is still screened and tested for bacteria and STDs
​ ​
IUI, or Intra-Uterine Insemination
For this procedure, a flexible catheter is used to insert prewashed sperm directly into the uterus. This provides a better chance of reaching the fallopian tubes and thus the egg. This procedure is recommended to be performed at a fertility clinic.

​Which kind of donor sperm to use?
IUI-ready sperm should be used for this type of insemination, as unwashed donor sperm placed directly into the uterus may cause anaphylactic shock. “Washing” means that the seminal fluid has been removed along with dead or disqualified sperm cells.
​​The liquid is replaced with a cryo-preservative fluid to protect the sperm cells in the freezing process. This means that IUI-ready sperm is ready for use, and does not need further processing before insemination.


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IVF or In Vitro Fertilization
With this method of assisted reproduction, the fertilisation of the egg happens in a laboratory. An egg is plucked from the woman and placed in a laboratory dish with the sperm.

​The sperm then spontaneously fertilises the egg in the dish. Normally, this takes between 1-10 hours. The fertilised egg is then placed back into the woman’s uterus to develop.

Which kind of donor sperm to use?

Both types of donor sperm may be used.


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ICSI or Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection
This is the most technical procedure of the four: The procedure is similar to the IVF in all aspects except one crucial step: One single, carefully selected sperm cell is manually injected into the very middle of the egg using a tiny needle.

This procedure is normally only necessary in cases with severe male infertility or when the number of eggs available is very low or difficult to fertilise.

Which kind of donor sperm to use?
Both types of donor sperm may be used.
 
Want more information?
It is always best to consult with a doctor or fertility professional before making a final decision. Your choice of treatment also depends on many physical factors such as your age and health.

You are of course also welcome to ask us any questions you may have. Some of the answers may be available already at our website europeanspermbank.com. If not, do not hesitate to email or call us.

We are here to help you!

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