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GIFT and ZIFT Treatments for Infertility

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

If you and your partner are facing difficulty getting pregnant, do not lose heart. With the wonders of modern medical science, there are a plethora of options available to you. IVF is one of the most popular procedures in cases of infertility. Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) are two variations on IVF.



What are GIFT and ZIFT?

Some infertile couples are affected by problems that prevent the sperm and egg from traveling through a fallopian tube. This is where fertilization and the first stage of cell division take place. GIFT and ZIFT are two procedures that can be effective in resolving this situation.

GIFT and ZIFT are modified versions of in vitro fertilization.  Like IVF, these procedures comprise of retrieving an egg from the woman and re-implanting it after manipulation.  Unlike IVF, the timing between mixing the sperm and eggs and the transfer is faster. For both of these procedures, a woman must have at least one open, undamaged tube.

GIFT (Gamete intrafallopian transfer)

In Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), multiple eggs are collected from the ovaries. The eggs are then placed into a thin flexible tube or catheter, together with the sperm. The eggs and sperm, also known as gametes, are then injected into the fallopian tubes using a surgical procedure under general anaesthesia. Because the eggs and sperm are placed into the fallopian tubes before conception, there is no way of confirming whether fertilization has taken place prior to the transfer.

ZIFT (Zygote intrafallopian transfer)

Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) is a combination of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and GIFT. Eggs are stimulated and collected using IVF methods, and then mixed with sperm in the lab. The fertilized eggs, called zygotes, are then inserted into the fallopian tubes from where they will be carried into the uterus. The aim is for the zygote to implant in the uterus and develop into a foetus.

What are the advantages of GIFT and ZIFT?

The processes used in GIFT and ZIFT are more similar to natural conception than in IVF.

In ZIFT, the eggs are placed in the fallopian tubes rather than directly in the uterus.

In GIFT, fertilization actually takes place in the body rather than in a petri dish.

However, with advances in IVF techniques, GIFT and ZIFT have become less relied upon.  Additionally, GIFT and ZIFT require surgery while IVF does not. Thus, IVF is gaining popularity as the preferred choice in infertility treatments.

What do these treatments entail?

The entire process of either GIFT or ZIFT consists of assisted reproductive technology (ART)-related injections, monitoring, and a number of other procedures. It can be very emotionally and physically demanding. Superovulation with hormones requires regular blood tests and frequent monitoring by your doctor. It also requires daily shots, some of which are considerably painful.

You can expect to return to daily activities after a routine laparoscopic procedure in approximately a week’s time, provided there are no other complications and the specialist gives you the go-ahead.

What are risks associated with GIFT and ZIFT?

There are a few risks of the above procedures. These include risks from laparoscopy, which is used to collect eggs, pelvic infection, puncture of internal organs, and side effects from general anaesthesia.

As with other assisted reproductive technologies, GIFT and ZIFT can increase the risk of multiple births. A multiple pregnancy is high-risk for both the mother and the babies.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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