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The University Medical Center (UMC) in Utrecht, Netherlands has launched an investigation into fertility treatments occurring between mid-April 2015 and mid-November 2016 after discovering that up to 26 women may have been fertilized with the sperm of the wrong man.

UMC spokesman Paul Geurts tells CNN that all the women who could possibly be affected by the potential mix-up have been notified of the “small” likelihood that mistakes have occurred. Regardless, Geurts says, “We have been as transparent as possible.”


According to CNN:

The women were receiving a type of fertility treatment known as intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). It differs from in vitro fertilization (IVF) in that a single sperm is injected directly into an egg, instead of fertilization occurring in a dish where many sperm are placed near an egg.


Half of the women treated with ICSI at the facility between April 2015 and November 2016 are pregnant or have given birth already.

The mix-up has been described as a “procedural error” and UMC has promised to reduce their workload until the investigation is complete.


Says one patient (who, it’s been confirmed, was not affected by the mix-up), “I was worried at first, yes, because you don’t want to be [told] your baby is not your husband’s. But also happy that UMC is so open about this and not trying to keep this a secret. I can’t imagine how this is like for people that are involved.”