All About Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs)

The News About GIFT

GIFT is a process similar to IVF, in that a woman is given fertility drugs to prevent premature hormone surges, facilitate egg growth, and ultimately trigger release of the mature eggs. But unlike IVF, the eggs and sperm are not fertilized in a laboratory. Instead, after the egg-retrieval process, an embryologist draws up small amounts of sperm for each egg, and then places the unfertilized eggs and sperm into a woman's fallopian tubes through a procedure known as laparoscopy. If the process is successful, the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube, moves down into the uterus, and implants as in a regular conception cycle.

GIFT is suitable for couples with unexplained infertility, cervical or male factor problems, or mild endometriosis, and it may offer women over 40 (with at least one normal fallopian tube) a better chance of pregnancy than IVF. In some centers, the pregnancy rate through GIFT is 25 to 35 percent.

Another option called ZIFT (zygote intrafallopian transfer) is similar to GIFT, except that the egg and sperm are fertilized in a petri dish before they are transferred into a woman's fallopian tubes, usually by laparoscopy. ZIFT has an advantage over a GIFT procedure in that an embryologist can confirm whether a woman's eggs are able to be fertilized by her husband's sperm. If his sperm are unable to fertilize her eggs, then the couple may decide to accept donor insemination rather than trying to achieve a pregnancy using the husband's sperm.

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