Inside the Greater Manchester sperm bank that uses VR headsets where men get £35 a time

-Credit: (Image: Cryos International)
-Credit: (Image: Cryos International)


A woman has revealed what it’s really like working at a Manchester sperm bank where donors are given porn VR headsets.

Hannah Staples is a clinical andrologist at Cryos International, a sperm bank which opened its doors in Manchester city centre last month.

Her role means the 28-year-old is an expert in men's reproductive health and deals with issues in fertility, hormone levels and sexual function.

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And she says that makes for interesting conversations outside of her nine-to-five – revealing some people are shocked when they discover her line of work.

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

“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?’”

A typical day sees Hannah based in the lab or on the reception where she greets donors and explains the process to them.

In the laboratory, she ensures the centrifuges, devices that can collect health sperm, are set correctly.

She then starts the process of freezing and thawing samples to make sure they reach the company’s donor criteria.

Following this, she will log into various porn platforms and set up VR headsets for the day.

“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 added.

"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.”

Hannah says there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding the industry. “People think it’s seedy, one hundred per cent,” she added. “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 is currently welcoming applications from men of all ethnic backgrounds between the ages of 18 and 45 at a time of unprecedented demand for fertility services in the UK.

Births from sperm donation has tripled since the turn of the millennium despite donation numbers being at an all-time low, according to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

The centre offers VR headsets and has a premium subscription to Pornhub
The centre offers VR headsets and has a premium subscription to Pornhub

This follows changes to the UK’s anonymity law which now allows children born from sperm and egg donation to find their donor’s name, birthday and last-known address once turning 18.

The Manchester location is the first UK site from the Denmark-based company.

Before being accepted, donors go through a thorough screening process that includes professional counselling, in order to ensure they are mentally fit and know what it means to become a donor.

Donors are compensated £35 per donation. If three donations are made a week it means they can be compensated up to £420 a month. All eligible men can apply but the rigorous screening process means that only 5 to 10 percent are accepted as donors.