Dutch IVF Center Investigating Sperm Mix-Up Of Up To 26 Couples
A mix-up of sperm and egg cell for use at a Dutch Center for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is being investigated by Center officials. The mix-up could have fertilized the egg cells of up to 26 women not by the intended sperm but from other men.
The fiasco was blamed by the Utrecht's University Medical Centre (UMC) to a procedural error, which occurred sometime between April of 2015 and November of 2016. Unfortunately, some of the IVF programs involving the mixed-up sperm cells were successful with half of those who availed of the IVF already pregnant while other already have children.
UMC said the remaining frozen embryos at the Center may have also been contaminated and fertilized with other men's sperm cells. Deutsche Well reported that the mix-up has already been communicated to the concerned couples.
"The UMC's board regrets that the couples involved had to receive this news and will do everything within its powers to give clarity on the issue as soon as possible," a statement released by the UMC read.
The Center said one treatment couple's sperm cells could have fertilized the egg cells of the other couples leading to the fertilization of the egg cells by a man other than the intended father. Yahoo said that while there is a small chance that the mix-up will happen, UMC said it could not exclude such possibility.
BBC said the mix-up could have resulted from the Intracytoplasmic sperm injection technique used by the Center, which made use of a pipette to directly inject the single sperm into the egg. The mistake could have been due to the use of a pipette with the same rubber top without the required filter. A DNA test could be taken by the couples after they have met with the UMC doctors.
Freya, a Dutch fertility group, was shocked with the news and said non-traditional methods of conceiving a child should have a 100 percent confidence rate considering that child-bearing is a delicate issue. This is not, however, the first time that a suspected mix-up happened since a similar incident was reported in 2012 when a clinic was sued by a Singaporean mother after she discovered that an IVF clinic mixed-up the sperm of her Caucasian husband with that of another person resulting to a baby with a different hair color and skin tone.