In cases of treatments with egg or semen donation, a carrier screening panel or carrier testing the a type of testing is used to determine whether the future parents or gamete donor is a carrier for specific autosomal recessive diseases.
There are more than 1,000 recessive monogenetic diseases and most human beings carry between 14 and 18 serious recessive genetic mutations. It is estimated that one in every 300 children is born with rare diseases due to those mutations. Carrier testing is used to eliminate the risk of transmitting more than 300 genetic diseases.
This pre-conceptional genetic test is carried out on a blood or saliva sample, which can identify more than 500 ancestral genes and establish genetic compatibility between egg door and the father providing the sperm, avoiding combining gametes that will cause a recessive illness to manifest in the future baby.
Spanish law on assisted reproduction requires assisted reproduction centres to test egg donors for genetic, hereditary and infectious diseases that can be transmitted to babies.
According to common practice and the law, assisted fertility clinics are required to test for the most common diseases according to the geographic area to which the donor belongs. In the case of Caucasian donors, these are Fragile X syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis and Thalassemia. This partial study still leaves the door open to numerous other diseases that can have a negative impact on a baby’s health.
Because of this, and aware of the spectrum of diseases not included in the test, IVF-Spain has gone further and believes that it is ethically responsible for the health of future generations to perform genetic compatibility tests on egg donors.