Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
What is GIFT?
In one of the Assisted Reproductive Procedures, called GIFT, a woman’s egg is removed from her ovaries and mixed with her partner’s sperm and immediately placed into one of her Fallopian Tubes. The main difference between the GIFT procedure and IVF and Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer (ZIFT) is that the egg fertilization happens in the Fallopian Tubes instead of it taking place in a laboratory in the latter two procedures. A woman’s Fallopian Tubes should be healthy enough to carry out GIFT procedure effectively.
How is GIFT performed?
The Assisted Reproductive Procedure, GIFT, involves the following:
- An X-Ray– is performed by the treating doctors to ascertain that at least one of two Fallopian Tubes is healthy.
- Using a laparoscope, the doctor will also ensure that there is no scar tissue on the outer surface of the Fallopian Tubes.
- Subsequently, the eggs are retrieved from the ovaries using laparoscopy.
- The male partner gives a sperm sample on the same day of retrieval of eggs.
- Afterwards, the eggs are merged with the sperm sample taken from the male partner in a catheter.
- The mixture of the egg and the sperm is inserted into the Fallopian Tubes with the help of a catheter.
- Then the woman is given medicines to increase uterine lining in her uterus to hold up a fertilized egg implantation.
Who can benefit with GIFT treatment?
GIFT is useful for the following patients:
- Couples who have been facing unexplainable infertility.
- Couples who could not get success with IVF treatment
- Couples having a religious/moral disinclination in using IVF
- Women whose at least one Fallopian Tube is healthy
- Couples whose male partner is facing low sperm count or any other abnormality with his sperm.
As per the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, “There is no sufficient confirmation in advocating the use of Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer/Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer in comparison to IVF in couples facing either inexplicable infertility or male infertility owing to low sperm count/abnormal sperm.” Main differences between Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
- In IVF procedure, while the woman’s eggs are fertilized in the glass tube in a laboratory instead of the Fallopian Tubes as in GIFT procedure.
- IVF is useful to those couples wherein the female partner’s Fallopian Tubes are blocked or missing.
- In IVF procedure, the treating doctors can have fertilization confirmation and review the quality of the embryo.
- Since in GIFT procedure the fertilization takes place in the Fallopian Tubes, there is no ethical issue while choosing which of the embryos to transfer.
GIFT Advantages and Disadvantages:
- In GIFT procedure, the patient does not need to be hospitalized. However, she is kept in recovery cell for nearly 8-10 hours.
- It is not possible for the doctors to get fertilization confirmation visibly or ascertain quality of the embryo with GIFT.
- The GIFT procedure cannot be performed on patients whose Fallopian Tubes are damaged or blocked.