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.

Genetic Carrier Screening for Donors

Genetic carrier screening is performed on all donor applicants. The specific tests performed on our donors has changed over time. Carrier screening for the following disorders is completed for City Fertility clinic-recruited donors.

Please note: overseas genetic carrier screening protocol for donors may be different.

  • Karyotype: To detect chromosome abnormalities, in order to help diagnose genetic diseases, some birth defects and certain haematologic and lymphoid disorders.
  • Cystic Fibrosis(CF): CF is a serious life-shortening genetic disease. Generally, people with CF produce thick, sticky mucus in their lungs and digestive tract, causing frequent lung infections and poor absorption of nutrients from food. Other parts of the body can also be affected.
  • Fragile X Syndrome: Fragile X is a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability, behavioural and learning challenges and various physical characteristics. Though Fragile X occurs in both genders, males are more frequently affected than females, and generally with greater severity.
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy(SMA): SMA is a disease that results in a weakening of the muscles in the body due to the breakdown and loss of specific nerve cells in the spinal cord.


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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