The sperm from one couple going through IVF treatment is feared to have been incorrectly used to fertilise the ova of 26 other couples at a Dutch clinic.
The couples were using Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) treatment to help them conceive. In this procedure, a single sperm is injected into a single ovum before being implanted in a woman.
According to a statement by University Medical Centre in Utrecht, Netherlands, they are currently investigating the procedural error.
“In the period between mid April 2015 and mid November 2016, a procedural error was made in ICSI treatments at UMC Utrecht’s IVF laboratory,” the statement reads. “As a result, sperm cells from another couple being treated may have been involved in the fertilisation of the ova of 26 couples.”
“In these cases, there is a chance that the ova have been fertilised by sperm cells from a man other than the intended father.”
The clinic insists that the chance of this being the case is “small” but “cannot be ruled out.”