When searching through donor profiles, you may be confused by a CMV positive test result, here is some information about CMV and sperm donors that should help, but if you have questions about a particular donor’s CMV status, please contact us. If you have questions about CMV in general, please contact your physician or other health care provider. The CDC has information on their website about CMV, including a helpful fact sheet about CMV for pregnant people and parents.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a viral disease that is relatively common in the general population, particularly among those with routine exposure to children. Most people who are infected with CMV have no symptoms, and develop antibodies to the virus with no further consequences, while others have mild flu like symptoms. CMV can cause birth defects in a developing fetus when a person has an infection while they are pregnant, so the FDA mandates that sperm donors are tested for CMV status. All Cryobio donors are tested for CMV status when they enter the program and then repeatedly while they are in the program.
Antibodies to CMV can be detected with a blood test: CMV Total. A positive CMV Total indicates that a person has been exposed to the virus at some point in the past. A negative CMV Total indicates no previous exposure. If a donor has a positive CMV Total test, then the donor is tested for CMV IgM to see if he is actively infected. If the CMV IgM is positive, it means that he is actively infected and cannot donate sperm until the situation has resolved. If the IgM is negative, it means that the donor is not currently actively infected, and can donate sperm. We indicate these donors by listing them as CMV positive. CMV negative donors are donors who have never been exposed to CMV.
You should ask your health care provider if you need to consider CMV status when selecting a donor. Health care providers differ on how they counsel their patients about CMV and pregnancy. It is ultimately up to you and your health care provider whether you should test for CMV and whether the donor’s CMV status matters to you.
Zika virus is a viral disease that can be transmitted by mosquito, through sexual activity, or by a pregnant woman to her fetus. Like people with CMV, people with Zika often have few or even no symptoms. However, if a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, the virus can cause significant birth defects and other complications in the developing fetus.
Zika can be diagnosed by testing blood and urine, however Zika can live in reproductive tissue for longer than it can in blood. Therefore, screening individuals for risk factors associated with the Zika virus is a better method than blood or urine tests when considering reproductive risk. Current CDC guidance suggests that women who have traveled to countries with a potential risk of Zika with or without symptoms of Zika virus should defer pregnancy for 8 weeks after possible exposure. Please refer to the CDC website for a current list of these countries.