Introduction: Historically, sperm donor applicants have been medically but not psychologically evaluated by mental health professionals (MHPs). As social norms and legislation shift toward non-anonymous donation, psychological assessments can provide opportunities to exclude unqualified donors and allow donors to consider the long-term implications of donating.
Objective: To determine the effectiveness of psychological screening in identifying unqualified sperm donors, and to evaluate psychological reasons for disqualification through clinical interview and testing.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of 229 potential donors who passed initial qualification at a major sperm bank from February 2017 to February 2018. All potential donors were evaluated by MPHs using clinical interview and Personality Assessment Inventory. Descriptive statistics were used for analysis.
Results: Following assessments and interviews, 33 (14.4%) of the 229 applicants were disqualified and 32 (13.9%) additional candidates self-selected out of the program. Of the 33 disqualified applicants, 66.7% had abnormal psychological testing and 39.4% had abnormal clinical interviews. Additional reasons for disqualification included inability to manage longterm demands as a donor, family history of psychopathology, and suspected substance use.
Discussion: Implementation of psychological evaluations in the donor application process at one major sperm bank led a number of donors to be disqualified, primarily due to abnormal psychological testing or clinical interviews. Others withdrew from the donation process after discussing the complexities of becoming a sperm donor with MHPs. As anonymity in gamete donation becomes increasingly improbable, it is critical for candidate donors to better understand the process, and to manage possible contact with donor-conceived persons.
Sham, Catherine; Braverman, Andrea; Mora, Robert; Perdue, Makenzie; and Shamonki, Jaime, "Implementation of Psychological Interview and Testing in a Large Sperm Bank" (2019). SKMC JeffMD Scholarly Inquiry, Phase 1, Project 1.