Self-reported physical health status of donor sperm-conceived adults

Damian H. Adams, Adam Gerace, Michael J. Davies, Sheryl De Lacey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Donor-conceived neonates have poorer birth outcomes, including low birth weight and preterm delivery that are associated with poorer long-term health in adulthood through the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) theory. The aim of this study was to conduct the first investigation of the adult health outcomes of donor-conceived people. An online health survey was completed by 272 donor sperm-conceived adults and 877 spontaneously conceived adults from around the world. Donor and spontaneously conceived groups were matched for age, sex, height, smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, own fertility and maternal smoking. Donor sperm-conceived adults had significantly higher reports of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (P = 0.031), thyroid disease (P = 0.031), acute bronchitis (P = 0.008), environmental allergies (P = 0.046), sleep apnoea (P = 0.037) and having ear tubes/grommets surgically implanted (P = 0.046). This is the first study to investigate the health outcomes of adult donor sperm-conceived people. Donor sperm-conceived adults self-reported elevated frequencies of various health conditions. The outcomes are consistent with birth defect data from donor sperm treatment and are consistent with the DOHaD linking perturbed early growth and chronic disease in adulthood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-651
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Issue number4
Early online date28 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Donor conception
  • health survey
  • online
  • outcome
  • self-reported


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