I work at Manchester's new sperm bank with Pornhub - people think it's seedy but this is what it's really like

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“People think it’s seedy, 100%, but that’s not the case at all.”

From freezing sperm to setting up VR goggles - a fertility expert has lifted the lid on life behind the scenes at Manchester’s new cutting-edge sperm bank. 

Hannah Staples is a Clinical Andrologist at the Cryos International centre at Manchester Science Park. She is an expert in men's reproductive health, dealing with issues like fertility, hormone levels, and sexual function. And that makes for some interesting conversations outside of her nine-to-five. 

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“Discussing my work was actually how I started my first date with my now-partner,” the 28-year-old from Warrington said.  “Can you imagine telling someone you’ve just met, you work in a sperm bank or a fertility clinic? He was like, ‘I’m sorry, what was that?’.

Hannah Staples works at Manchester's new sperm bank the Cryos International Centre Hannah Staples works at Manchester's new sperm bank the Cryos International Centre
Hannah Staples works at Manchester's new sperm bank the Cryos International Centre

“Most people are shocked when I tell them what I do, a lot of people even ask me to repeat myself before asking a load of questions like ‘what does sperm look like?’.”

The Cryos centre made headlines when it launched with its VR headsets with a premium subscription to PornHub “offering an immersive experience” in their donation rooms.  It follows clinical research from the company that demonstrated that the use of VR porn can improve quality and increase sperm count by up to 50 per cent.

A typical day for Hannah consists of a wide range of diverse duties. 

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“On a typical day you can find me in the lab or the reception, ready to greet donors and explain the process to them,” she said.  “In the lab, I ensure our centrifuges are set correctly and begin the process of freezing and thawing samples to see if they reach our donor criteria. After this, I then log into all the porn platforms and set up the VR headsets for the day.

Inside the Cryos International Centre in Manchester Inside the Cryos International Centre in Manchester
Inside the Cryos International Centre in Manchester

“People think it’s seedy, 100%, expecting to be ushered into a dark room. But, that’s not the case at all. We’re committed to helping people achieve their dreams of starting their own family. 

“Whether you’ve donated before or are shaking with nerves before your first appointment, we’re here to put everyone at ease and provide all the support and information you could require.”

The centre welcomes applications from men of all ethnic backgrounds between the ages of 18 and 45. It has opened at a time of unprecedented demand for fertility services in the UK which has seen births from sperm donation triple since the turn of the millennium, despite donation numbers being at an all-time low.

Founded in Denmark in 1987, Cryos now operates in more than 100 countries around the world.

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