Yes, males can donate bone marrow to females and vice versa. Finding a matching donor is all based on genetics and/or ethnicity rather than on gender. When someone needs a bone marrow transplant, doctors first look to family members as they are most likely to be a match. However, a match within the family is only found about 25-30% of the time. Most people have to turn to the National Marrow Donation Program to find a match, which is conducted based on ethnicity and tissue type.
Yes, males and females can donate to patients of the opposite sex. In fact, in some cases that might be a better situation, since siblings are oftentimes the best match. Doctors use a test to determine if you are a match to donate marrow called human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing. HLA proteins are genetic, and thus close relatives are more likely to have the necessary matches to pass the test. There are some additional tests done afterwards, in order to insure the donor is healthy and does not have any diseases they could pass on to the recipient. Other than that, eligible donors must meet certain weight, age, medical history, and other related eligibility requirements, but nothing about gender is significant.
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