GIFT treatment refers to gamete intra fallopian transfer, which simply means the transfer of both eggs and sperm into the fallopian tube, where conception will hopefully take place successfully. GIFT as a fertility treatment is an older concept, but still has a good success rate for patients with the correct indications.
There are a few indications or conditions that would make GIFT treatment suitable. One of these include being at an advanced reproductive age, usually a patient that is 42 years of age or older. GIFT infertility treatment is also an option in cases where conventional in vitro fertilisation (IVF) continues to fail, especially if no apparent reason could be found for these failures. In addition, some couples’ embryos deteriorate in the incubators. This may be a slowing down of growth or repeated fragmentation of the embryos in the incubator. In these couples, GIFT treatment may offer a reasonable alternative.
The process entails routine stimulation of the ovaries to produce more than one egg, harvesting of these mature eggs under general anaesthetic and then performing a laparoscopy. After this, the eggs and sperm are transferred into the fallopian tube – where conception would take place under natural circumstances – under direct observation. This will give the best egg and sperm the chance to fuse naturally in the tube and, hopefully, lead to a successful conception.
Zygote intra fallopian transfer, more commonly known as ZIFT, involves the transfer of day-1 embryos – called zygotes – into the fallopian tube under direct vision. The ZIFT procedure has been used for many years now and is still one of the most successful procedures in well selected cases.
Ideal candidates for the ZIFT procedure include patients with severe male factor infertility, where the sperm count is less than 10 million sperm per ml and where repeated attempts with conventional ICSI have failed.
There are several steps that need to be followed to maximise the chances of achieving pregnancy with the ZIFT procedure. Conventional ovarian stimulation needs to be carried out to stimulate the ovaries into producing more than the usual one egg per month. The eggs are then harvested transvaginally under conscious sedation.
Once harvested, the eggs are fertilised using the conventional ICSI method. This involves the injection of each collected mature egg with a single appropriately selected sperm. The eggs are then placed in an incubator at 37 degrees centigrade for a period of about 19 hours. After this process, the normally fertilised day-1 embryos or ‘zygotes’ are assessed, selected and transferred into the future mother’s fallopian tubes by means of a general anaesthetic and laparoscopy. The zygotes are placed in the region where natural conception generally takes place (the fallopian tube) – which is ostensibly the ‘best incubator’ in the world.
*Contact Vitalab for more information about GIFT and ZIFT treatment. Male and female infertility is far less of a challenge to overcome than it used to be – let us show you how.