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Assisted Reproduction

UK Fertility Clinic ‘Used Wrong Sperm’


A report out of the UK states that there have been “1,679 adverse incidents in fertility clinics in the UK between 2010 and 2012.” These incidents have been categorized by name: Grade A, B, and C. Read on to find out more about what has gone wrong and the severity of these incidents.

A clinic used sperm from the wrong donor in fertility treatment, a report by the regulator says.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) warned clinics “too many” mistakes were being made.

Its report showed one in every 100 women treated had experienced some form of “adverse incident”, although most would not have affected their odds of having a baby.

The regulator has called on clinics to eradicate “avoidable errors”.

There were 1,679 adverse incidents in fertility clinics in the UK between 2010 and 2012.

Three of them were in the most serious – or grade-A – category.

In one case a woman was having fertility treatment using donated sperm. She wanted a child who would be genetically related to an elder sibling, but sperm from the wrong donor was used.

No further details have been released to protect the family’s anonymity.

A separate grade-A case involved embryos being contaminated, probably with sperm. And in the third incident, sperm were removed from storage too soon.

‘Highest quality’

There were 714 grade-B incidents, which include the loss of embryos or equipment malfunctions affecting embryo quality.

There were 815 grade-C errors, such as eggs left unusable or women’s ovaries being “over-stimulated” to produce eggs.

HFEA chairwoman Sally Cheshire, said “We are committed to ensuring that clinics provide the safest and highest quality service to their patients.

“These results show that, in the main, clinics are doing a good job of minimising the number of serious errors, and this should be welcomed.

“However, there remain too many grade-C mistakes, such as breaches of confidentiality.

“As patients have often told us, these mistakes may be less serious at first glance but they can still be very upsetting.”

“Clinics can and should be eradicating these sorts of avoidable errors, which will go a long way towards reducing patient distress and improving the overall experience of IVF treatment.”


3 comments for “UK Fertility Clinic ‘Used Wrong Sperm’”

  • m

    If the gametes were dna tested and associated with a particular donating party who gave consent at the outset that information could be recorded and then, prior to shipping or storing it could be checked for against records for proper consent and prior to insemination or ivf the material could be double checked to ensure it was still the requested stuff. Then the infant should be checked at birth to be sure that they are the offspring of that particular person. That way you can prevent the error from happening and if it does occur you can return the child to his or her rightful parents who never consented to give up their offspring to others to raise.

  • Nicol

    It is a nonsense. How can it be possible? When I was treated in Biotexcom in Ukraine it was very strict regulation. The sperm is checked. And they have good administration.

  • Daniela

    Completely agree with you Nicol! It is unacceptable. Their costs are not reasonable if they admit such mistakes. Couples should be very careful choosing the clinic where their future child will be born. Surrogate mother should be checked very carefully and all process should be completely legal. I have heard about Biotexcom, it is a good clinic, I have read a lot of rewievs about country. I guess this clinic is a leader in Ukraine.

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