Stool donation is key in the study and administration of Fecal Microbiota Transplants. These life-saving treatments are an exciting new frontier in medicine, and they are a frontier that cannot be conquered without the participation of healthy stool donors. In this article, we’ll cover some of the basics of the stool donation process, including:
- Where does the stool for fecal transplants come from?
- What are the poop donor requirements for stool banks?
- Is an at-home DIY fecal transplant safe?
- Other resources to learn more about where stool donations come from
There are many steps that go into acquiring stool for a fecal transplant but let’s start with the basics – where is the poop coming from?
Stool samples used in FMT treatment are from healthy and carefully screened donors. In a clinical setting, a donor must go through a multi-stage screening process to be eligible. Along with primary screening, each individual donation must also be screened to ensure the donor is still in good health.
What are the poop donor requirements for stool banks?
Becoming a fecal donor is a selective process. Clinicians only want to make use of the best and safest stool possible, in order to ensure the best results in their treatments. There are certain criteria that may disqualify one from becoming an FMT donor. They include:
- Unhealthy and/or irregular stool (ranking outside 3-5 on the Bristol Stool Chart)
- Anyone with ongoing gastrointestinal issues
- Ongoing or history of chronic disease
- Transmittable infections
- Anyone who has participated in high risk sexual behaviour, illicit drugs, had a tattoo or body piercing, traveled to select countries where endemic diarrhea is prevalent, or been incarcerated the past 6 months
- Anyone who has received antibiotics in the past three months (some studies say longer)
- Anyone currently on immunosuppressive medication
- Anyone with metabolic syndrome
Being a fecal donor can be a rewarding experience! Make sure to check out our fecal transplant donor guide if you are interested in learning more about the process of stool donation, how you can donate to a stool bank, and why donating feces is so important.
Is an at-home DIY fecal transplant safe?
Fecal transplants performed outside a clinical setting cannot be guaranteed to be safe. For safety to be ensured, a multi-stage screening process must occur with a donor – which is not possible with an at home procedure. Lack of sanitary spaces and equipment make safe testing and insertion impossible.
Other resources to learn more about where stool donations come from
Below are more web resources from our site and beyond to keep you informed about everything about stool donation for FMT.
OpenBiome in Boston, MA is seeking healthy stool donors on a rolling basis. If you are in the area and think you might qualify, be sure to check them out.
The New York Times outlines what it takes to be a poop donor in the age of FMT. Find out if you meet the typical requirements to be a donor, and learn more about FMT as a medical practice.
Learn more about all of the resources available to help you learn more about fecal transplants, including current clinical studies, the best fecal transplant doctors, where to get FMT news, and more.