26 women might have been fertilized with the incorrect sperm due to what a Dutch IVF treatment center is calling a "procedural error." At least half of the 26 women who underwent treatment at the Utrech University Medical Centre are already pregnant or have given birth, BBC reports. Which means that dads are having the opposite of this reaction:
How did this happen? It's believed that one of the lab technicians was using a potentially contaminated pipette to inject sperm between April 2015 and and November 2016. The process that was being used differs from IVF; it's called Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and involves a single sperm being injected into a woman's egg with a pipette. The lab technician was using a different pipette for each procedure, but was using the same rubber top. Upon finding traces of sperm in the rubber top (presumably after following the improper procedure 26 times), the technician raised the alarm.
"Wanting a child is a very delicate thing, especially when it doesn't involve the normal bedroom way. So people need to have 100% confidence in the method they adopt," said Dutch fertility support group, Freya, of the troubling situation. Safe to say everyone's confidence is a bit shaken by this incident, including innocent bystanders like myself.
UMC, which conducts up to 700 ICMI fertilizations per year, will be meeting with all of the couples in the following days, and has offered to conduct a DNA test for any couple who is interested. Is this one of those situations where ignorance isn't bliss? Hard to say. One thing is for sure though, there's a lab technician job open at a Dutch IVF treatment center for anyone who's interested and knows a thing or two about sanitizing a pipette.