Widow's attempt to use her dead husband's sperm

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7074.143 (Published 11 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:143

Twin pregnancy resulted in case that was similar but in which consent was obtained

  1. Kamal K Ahuja, Scientific directora,
  2. Geraldine Emerson, Embryologista,
  3. Angela Seaton, Embryologista,
  4. Julian Mamiso, Consultant gynaecologistb,
  5. Eric G Simons, Consultant gynaecologistc
  1. a Cromwell IVF and Fertility Centre, Cromwell Hospital, London SW5 0TU
  2. b Singleton Hospital, Swansea NHS Trust, Swansea SA2 8QA
  3. c Washington Hospital, Washington, Tyne and Wear NE38 9JZ
  4. d The Old Forge, Whitchurch on Thames, Reading RG8 7EN

    Editor–The use of posthumous frozen sperm after chemotherapy is well established for patients with cancer although the success rate is low, but recent advances in intracytoplasmic sperm injection now offer a realistic chance of success. We describe a pregnancy in a widow after intracytoplasmic sperm injection with her dead husband's sperm and contrast this with the recent case in which another widow was refused permission to use her husband's sperm.

    A childless widow was referred to us for treatment after her late husband's chemotherapy for testicular cancer was unsuccessful. Three ampoules of suboptimal sperm were frozen after written consent was obtained. Two ampoules were used for unsuccessful attempts at insemination, while the last was used for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Three embryos were replaced, which resulted in a (continuing) twin pregnancy.

    Sperm quality is adversely affected by testicular cancer and its treatment. This case shows that intracytoplasmic sperm injection with frozen sperm should be considered as an early …

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