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Blog overview
What is CMV and CMV status

CMV – What is it and how can it affect me and my baby?

You have probably come across the term CMV status (to be CMV positive or CMV negative). Especially if you are pregnant or looking to use donor sperm for fertility treatment. But what does CMV mean and is it something that you should be concerned about?

Here you can learn about CMV, how it may affect you and your baby and know if you should use a sperm donor with a positive or negative CMV status.

What is CMV?

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is related to the herpes virus and is a common virus that can affect anyone. You can get infected through body fluids such as saliva, blood, urine, sperm and breast milk. Most people will get infected with the virus during childhood or early adulthood. The majority are without any symptoms but a few may develop fever, sore throat and headache. Once infected, the virus lies dormant in the body forever, with a little risk of getting reactivated. This is known as a recurrent CMV infection.

What is CMV status?

The first time you get infected with CMV you create antibodies called CMV IgM and CMV IgG. IgM antibodies are present during an acute infection, IgG antibodies stay forever.

When no IgM antibodies nor IgG antibodies are present a person is CMV negative. This means that he/she has never been infected by CMV.

When no IgM antibodies are present, but IgG antibodies are present, a person is CMV positive. This means that he/she has had a CMV infection in the past but does not have an acute infection.

When IgM and IgG antibodies are present, there is an acute infection. If a sperm donor has an acute infection with CMV, he/she cannot donate in that period.

Facts about CMV and the use of a sperm donor

CMV status – screening of sperm donors

At Cryos, we screen all our sperm donors for a wide variety of viruses and genetic disorders. We also screen our donors for their CMV status to accommodate use in some countries. We accept only donors who have tested IgM negative. This means that the donors do not have an active CMV infection. We accept both donors with positive and negative IgG as long as it is combined with a negative IgM (no current infection). The donors with a negative CMV status in the Donor Search have never had a CMV infection. Donors with a positive CMV status in the donor Search have previously had a CMV infection and have antibodies.

Some doctors say that sperm donors who are tested IgG positive (which means they have previously had the infection) may only be used for women who themselves are IgG positive. This means that if you know that you have previously been infected with CMV, you can use a sperm donor with a positive CMV status.

Not all countries require CMV screening. Therefore, the donors who have no CMV status shown in the Donor Search have not and will not be screened for CMV.

What is the risk of transmitting the infection to my baby?

It depends on when you became infected the first time.

Approximately 50% of all women already have antibodies to CMV before they get pregnant because they have already been infected. You can risk a reactivation of the infection during pregnancy, but the risk of passing the virus to your baby during a recurrent infection is low (about 1-2 %). So, if you got your first CMV infection before your pregnancy, the risk of passing on the virus to your baby is very small.

If you are infected with CMV for the very first time during pregnancy, the chance of passing on the virus to your baby is higher.

Does CMV affect your baby

Will my baby be affected by an acute CMV infection?

Most babies with a CMV infection never show signs or have any health problems. Some babies infected with the virus during pregnancy may, however, have health problems that are apparent at birth or develop later during infancy or childhood.

If you want to know more about CMV, we recommend that you speak with your doctor or clinic for advice.

If you are about to choose a sperm donor for fertility treatment, you are also welcome to contact Cryos’ customer service. We are ready to help you with any concern.

 

Related posts

The ultimate guide to choosing a sperm donor at Cryos The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Sperm Donor – 5 Tips Lisa answers questions about being two mums Q&A with mum and YouTuber Lisa from Teddy has Two Mams Getting your body and mind ready for fertility treatment Getting your body and mind ready for fertility treatment Woman thinking about her fertility and eggs 5 facts about women’s eggs and fertility

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  1. Grey says:

    I am a man and was diagnosed of Cmv, i would like to know, if i can ever have a health children in the future? Are they drugs that i need to take, if i want to make my wife pregnant that will weaken the virus.
    Thanks.

    1. Cryos says:

      Hi Grey,
      Thank you for your inquiry. We encourage you to contact your doctor or healthcare professional to discuss your CMV status and any implications it may have on future pregnancies.
      /Mila

  2. Emi says:

    Hi my husband and I are both CMV negative. We are choosing a sperm donor at the moment…
    My husband is a kidney transplant patient, and he can not afford to get infected by CMV as it could destroy his kidney.
    I was wondering if we would need to choose only donor with CMV negative?

    1. Cryos says:

      Hi
      We recommend you speak to your doctor to get advice on your specific situation. You are also welcome to contact us by phone at: +45 8676 0699
      Best Cryos

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