We are often asked questions about what a Reproductive Technologist gets up to daily and what their job entails. We sat down with Sam to see what a day in the life of a Reproductive Technologist looks like and give you an insight into what goes on in our lab on a busy magical day.
Donor Story 1
"When I started donating to Semovo, I worked as a Supervisor in a Starbucks, but this year’s been full of ups and downs, so I then worked in a Morrisons for a while. I’m now at a Curry’s, and I’m hoping to start training as a teacher this September - in all honesty, donating has been a bit of motivation for me. It’s made me think of the person I want to be eighteen years from now. The person I’m helping to bring into the world might one day decide to meet me. I’m a keen reader and studied creative writing at university, so I spend a lot of my time reading and writing, both hobbies that 2020 can’t stand in the way of - and no prizes for guessing what I want to teach!"
"Donating sperm wasn’t something I’d considered until I stumbled across the advert for Semovo on Facebook, but when I saw it, I knew it was something I wanted to do. I’ve known people that can’t have kids of their own, no matter how much they want them, people I know would make the best parents one day, and I felt that if there was something I could do to help people like that, then I should, and here I am. My first samples are almost out of quarantine, so any day now, I can start helping those people I want to."
"I didn’t do much external research on the process, but honestly, I didn’t have to. Semovo has been so helpful every step of the way, giving me all the information I could want and all the support necessary. They can’t prepare you for having awkward conversations at your donation appointments, but that’s a small price to pay for putting some good out there in the world, and you get used to it after a while. Apart from that, it’s a pretty straightforward process - you have to have blood tests taken pretty regularly, but there’s no real way to avoid that."
"I’m quite happy with Semovo and the donation process in general and plan to continue donating with them. For a small bit of time out of your day, it’s a really rewarding feeling. If you’re considering applying, all I can recommend is that you do - there are people on hand to talk you through the whole thing, with a counselling session as well to allay any fears you might have. It doesn’t hurt to try, and you’re putting some good out there in the world as a result."
Donor Story 2
"I’m a 32-year-old donor, and I work full-time as a data analyst for a global professional services firm. However, I don’t think my job is very ‘me,’ and I prefer to define myself by my more creative hobbies and interests: I play the piano and clarinet, and I studied languages at university, which means I now speak fluent French, Spanish and Italian. I have had some wonderful travel experiences because of this. I’d say I’m a very easy-going person, and I’ve got to know myself better as I’ve got older: what I want out of life, what makes me happy, my limits, and my sense of right and wrong. As a 30th birthday gift to myself, I decided to go and do a Master’s degree at Leeds University, and it was there that my donor journey started."
"I had actually been thinking about doing it for several years already. Still, I’d never made any concrete steps towards actually doing it, partly out of nervousness and partly because I didn’t really know where to start. I was already a blood donor and got a great sense of satisfaction out of knowing that I was helping people by donating, so it seemed logical to me that I could and should donate my sperm too."
"I don’t know if Facebook’s algorithms were reading my mind but not long after I had started my Master’s degree, I saw an ad on Facebook for Semovo, and at that point, I knew I had no excuses to apply."
"I just entered some basic info and my contact details, and not long after that, I had a call back from someone on the Semovo team who was able to talk me through the first steps to becoming a donor. I was still a little nervous about the whole process. Still, everyone I spoke to after that point, from the counsellor to the consultant to the donor team, were all really friendly and down-to-earth and made me feel totally at ease with what could be a somewhat embarrassing situation. I’d say it took around a month from my initial enquiry to being signed off as a donor, and I began to donate once a week after that. I actually felt really comfortable and happy attending the donation clinics as the donation team (both male and female staff) quickly got to know me and were really friendly."
"The most difficult part by far was writing my pen picture and goodwill message – how do you describe yourself to any potential future parents? Why should they pick you? What do you say to a child born as a result of your donations? After several drafts, I think I managed to do my thoughts and feelings justice in writing."
"It feels absolutely wonderful to know that I’m helping create families of all shapes and sizes, and getting the news that a first child had been born as a result of my donations (and that I might get to meet them one day) was some of the best news ever."
"I’d absolutely recommend Semovo to anyone who’s thinking about donating – don’t be put off by any preconceived ideas you might have about sperm donation, as the reality of it is nothing like that. Personally, I only wish I’d started sooner."
DONOR STORY 3
Tell us a bit about yourself: What do you work as, and what your lifestyle is like?
I'm a middle-aged man living with my husband and our 6-year-old daughter in a semi-rural location, with vague aspirations to expand the family with a dog.
Describe who you are as a person?
I'd characterise myself as a laid-back, optimistic human being.
We would really like you to give us a feel for why you chose to donate? It is such an amazing act of great kindness, so we would really like to know what brought you to that point?
My husband and I had our daughter through surrogacy in California, and our daughter has since become the single greatest feature of our lives.
We clearly owe a lot to the women who kindly volunteered to be egg donors and our surrogate. They put their bodies through a huge amount of strain under a bewildering cocktail of drugs for extended periods so that we could have a child. I wanted to pay some of that kindness forward to help other couples achieve their dreams of having a family, even if the strain I go through to donate doesn't remotely compare.
Did you do any research?
I’d spend a morning exploring clinics that might work for me and a brief period researching the legal implications.
Why did you come to Semovo?
Semovo was one of the first companies I found and was a good fit as you take donors up to the age of 46 (I am 45) - which not all of your clinics do - and also Semovo had a donation clinic in Leeds on Fridays. Leeds is my closest city, and I don't work on Fridays. So, it seemed a good fit.
How did you find out about us?
Please can you give us an insight into how each step of your journey was?
The initial onboarding process took some time. However, once I was approved, I was quickly set up for a regular weekly donation, and it has been smooth sailing since then.
Did you get the care you needed every step of the way?
Yes, they was always very clear what the next step was and what would be expected of me. The staff are always very helpful and friendly.
What your experience was like with us?
It has been a very smooth and broadly consistent process dealing with different team members. Everyone has been very clear and friendly in their instructions.
How does it make you feel about donating?
Relatively neutral, to be honest. I think if and when I hear that a family had actually selected my profile and was going ahead with fertility treatment, I would be much more excited. (or it maybe I only hear if they are successful in having a child?
In which case I would be very delighted!) But for now, it all seems rather abstract, and while I'm reassured, I'm probably helping someone out later down the line; emotionally speaking, it's difficult to feel too much elation about the process at this stage.
Would you donate with us again and why?
I'm booked in to do so on Friday so I hope so! But yes, if it weren't for the fact, I turn 46 at the start of next year I imagine I'd be happy to keep on donating until you pleaded with me to stop.
What advice would you give to anyone considering becoming a sperm donor?
When I started, I didn't realise that donating is a relatively long-term process, as you need to make weekly donations for about a year to ensure the clinic has enough to work with. There's also a lot of screening and blood tests and counselling, which do take time. So, to anyone considering, I'd just stress it's quite a commitment and to ask them to ensure they have time and energy for it.
Find your nearest Semovo clinic
To find your nearest Semovo clinic please visit our locations page below.
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