Why choosing The Lister Fertility Clinic is the right decision when exploring surrogacy and egg donation

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Tell us about yourself and your role at The Lister Fertility Clinic at The Portland?

My name is Michelle-Monae, I am from London and currently work as the Egg Donation and Surrogacy lead at Lister Fertility Clinic at The Portland. If I should characterise myself, I’d say that I am organised, empathetic and driven. In my free time I like to explore different countries, and food vlogging.

As an Egg Donation and Surrogacy lead, I am responsible for all the practical aspects of our patient’s treatment. I am their main point of contact from the start of treatment, explaining treatment plans for both parties, how to administer medications, giving updates on treatment and providing personalised support throughout the different steps of treatment.

I ensure all documentation, screening and information is up to date prior to treatment and after.

Have you always worked in healthcare?

Yes, I started my career 9 years ago as a Respiratory Nurse, where the focus was on caring for patients with a range of respiratory conditions. Two years down the line I began my career in women’s health, working in Maternity – Labour Ward. I now work as a Fertility Nurse which has brought a great sense of purpose knowing that I can make a positive impact to someone’s journey.

Over the years, I have built up lots of skills and experience that has made me the healthcare professional I am today – passionate in the field of fertility.

What is it about your role that keeps you motivated?

The ability to help couples and individuals overcome the challenges of infertility and assist them in building a family is incredibly rewarding for me. Seeing the joy and happiness on the faces of patients when they successfully conceive is a fulfilling experience and provides a sense of purpose to my role.

Overall, the opportunity to help people achieve their dreams of starting a family and the intellectual challenge of the job keeps me motivated and engaged in my work.

Tell us about your typical day?

A typical day at Lister Fertility at the Portland for me starts off with morning team meetings to discuss the days schedule and coordinate patient care. 

Depending on the days allocation I would either be facilitating donor, recipient or surrogacy Nurse coordination’s to discuss their treatment protocols, medication administration teaches, order any necessary diagnostic tests and next steps. 

Once a patient/couple has started treatment, I would see them after ultrasound scans to instruct on starting stimulations, give advice on medications and discuss any changes to their treatment plan. 

On days when I’m allocated to work in recovery/theatres, my job will be to assist with intrauterine insemination (IUI), egg collections or embryo transfers.

On other days I’d be assigned to answering phones and emails, following up with patients to assess treatment responses post procedures, address any concerns or questions, providing support to patients starting or in treatment and adjust treatment plans as necessary.

Overall, my day involves a combination of patient consultations, fertility treatments, theatre procedures, patient education, and follow-up care.

Why is surrogacy and egg donation important to you?

Surrogacy and egg donation provide hope and opportunities for individuals and couples who are unable to conceive naturally. For couples or individuals who have exhausted other options or have medical conditions that prevent them from carrying a pregnancy, surrogacy and egg donation provides them with the chance to have a child and start a family.

Surrogacy and egg donation also provide opportunities for individuals who want to help others. 

What are the Doctors and Fertility Nurses all like to work with?

I couldn’t have asked for a better team than my colleagues I work with! We are such a close knit, fun team who respect each other and care about one another’s wellbeing.

My colleagues are supportive, empathetic, knowledgeable, and dedicated health professional who are passionate about helping couples and individuals achieve their dreams of starting a family. Together as a team we work to provide the best possible care and support patients throughout their fertility treatment journey.

Fertility treatment for some people can be daunting, how do you put others at ease when you meet with them?

Whenever I meet patients in the clinic, I bear in mind an old saying “treat others as you would want them to treat you”. As such, I approach patients as a friendly and empathetic face and a professional armed with a high level of expertise. The ability to explain, support and guide patients in a way that makes the journey as easy as possible is paramount. The emotions are complex and the medical issues equally so. However, patients need to be aware and understand their issues; knowledge is the most powerful tool and helps create solutions – some of which may not have occurred to the patients yet!

Best piece of advice for anyone seeking out a London based fertility clinic?

I wondered this myself when I was looking to join a fertility clinic! The Lister Fertility Clinic at The Portland Hospital is based in The Portland Women and Children’s Hospital. This means that should they choose to, patients are able to start their journey with us and go all the way through to post-natal care. Being part of a bigger hospital also means that the same high standards apply as in the rest of the hospital.

I was also keen to work with doctors that were leaders in their field as this ensures that patients get the very best possible care but also means that from a personal point of view, I can continue to learn from them and develop my own skills.

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