Pathology screening tests when undergoing treatment using donor gametes

screening tests

Below is a list of the screening tests involved when undergoing treatment using donor gametes.

Please click on the buttons below to learn more about each test.

Screening tests:


The virus responsible for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS); it compromises the bodies’ immune system and its ability to protect against infection. This test screens for the presence of antibodies to HIV. Women who are antibody positive to HIV may have a significant chance of transmitting this virus to their newborns especially if left untreated.


Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by a type of bacterium. If left untreated, syphilis can have very serious long-term consequences. During pregnancy, syphilis can travel from bloodstream across the placenta and infect the baby anytime during pregnancy. It can also infect the baby during delivery.

Human T-Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV) 1+2

HTLV-I is a blood-borne virus and can attack the immune system. It can be transmitted from mother to child (primarily through breastfeeding), by blood transfusion, sexual intercourse and by sharing contaminated needles. HTLV -2 is a virus closely related to HTLV-I.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the herpes family. This viral infection can be spread through coughing, contact with blood, urine or faeces, or via the mucous membranes, such as the mouth and genitals. Women can catch CMV during pregnancy and pass it on to their baby – this is called congenital CMV.


Chlamydia is a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) which affects both men and women. Women who have untreated chlamydia might develop pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause ectopic pregnancies, chronic pelvic pain and infertility. Chlamydia during pregnancy can lead to premature births and a baby who gets infected during birth can develop an eye infection (conjunctivitis) or pneumonia and might need antibiotics. Chlamydia has also been associated with low birth weight.


Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Untreated gonorrhoea can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and during pregnancy is associated with adverse obstetric outcomes.


Other tests to complete:

Rubella (female)

Testing is used to confirm the presence of adequate protection against the rubella virus and to detect a recent or past infection. It can also be used to identify those who have never been exposed to the virus or have not been vaccinated. This test is ordered on all pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant to verify that they have a sufficient amount of rubella antibodies to protect them from infection. If contracted during pregnancy, this disease may have severe effects on the developing fetus, including:

  • blindness
  • heart defects
  • hearing defects
  • musculoskeletal defects
  • brain damage
  • miscarriage

Blood Group

Group and typing of expectant mothers and newborns may indicate the potential for ABO hemolytic disease of the newborn (maternal antibodies cross the placental barrier to the fetal circulation system causing the destruction of fetal red blood cells). Rh (D) typing is used to determinate Rh immunoglobulin candidacy (anti D) for a prenatal and postpartum patient. During pregnancy, a small amount of fetal blood can enter the maternal circulation system. If the mother and the foetus are different Rh factors, the mother can develop an immune response against the fetal red blood cells. This can result in another form of ABO haemolytic disease.

Preconception Carrier Screenings for Donor Gamete and Embryo Recipients

City Fertility recommends all donor recipients have preconception carrier screening done. Carrier screening is a test to determine whether an individual carries a genetic variant or chromosomal alteration that does not generally affect the individual’s health but increases their chance of having a child with the condition in question. 

Genetic carrier screening is performed on all City Fertility clinic recruited donors and overseas donors. The specific tests performed on our donors have changed over time due to the changes in donor screening recommendations and guidelines.  Clinic recruited donors and overseas donors have been screened for basic carrier screening or extensive carrier screening. The type of screening you choose may depend on the type of screening that has been completed by the donor. Please discuss with your fertility specialist which type of carrier screening is recommended for you.

  •  Basic Carrier Screening: tests for three relatively common genetic conditions in general populations: Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Fragile X (FXS), and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
  •  Extended Carrier Screening: comprehensive screening panel which screens for 175+ genetic conditions (depending on the provider).

City Fertility recommends all known donors are also screened for either basic or extended carrier screen. Please discuss with your fertility specialist which type of carrier screening is recommended for you and your known donor. 

Unfortunately, the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) does not currently offer any rebates for these tests and costs will vary depending on which test you choose and the company providing the test. Depending on the test provider, genetic counselling may or may not be included.

If you have any questions regarding any of the above screening tests, please contact your treating specialist or a fertility nurse at your City Fertility clinic.


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