What is Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)?

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Gamete intrafallopian transfer is a process where the healthcare provider will take the egg cells and combine them with sperm cells, after that they will immediately replace the cell into the fallopian tube. The egg cell will then be fertilised inside the fallopian tube. To increase the amount of egg cells a woman will produce, they are given follicle-stimulating medications. The combination of egg cells and sperm cells is placed in the fallopian tube using a procedure called a laparoscopy. Doctors will only suggest the GIFT procedure if you have a healthy uterus and fallopian tubes. 


What is The Process of GIFT? 

The first step will be to examine if you at least have one healthy fallopian tube, this is done through an x-ray and laparoscopy to examine internally for any scarring. The second step will be to remove the egg cell from the ovary, during this step, your doctor will use a laparoscope. For step three the egg cell is taken out of the woman, the man will need to produce a sperm cell. The fourth step is when the egg cell and sperm cell will be mixed inside a catheter. The fifth step is when the mixed cells are placed inside the fallopian tube. You will be offered medication to help your endometrium grow which will help implant of the fertilised egg cell. Should there be extra cells, you will be allowed to use them for IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) and save any embryos for future use.


Who is GIFT Suitable For? 

Gamete intrafallopian tube transfer is for couples who struggle with infertility. If they have done IVF but it was unsuccessful. Sometimes both parties the man and woman have religious or ethical factors that do not allow them to use IVF. You should at least have one healthy fallopian tube.


Where is GIFT Done?

The procedure for gamete intrafallopian tube transfer is done in the fallopian tubes. A mix of egg cells and sperm cells will be placed inside the fallopian tube to start fertilisation. 


Gamete Intrafallopian Tube Transfer vs In-Vitro Fertilisation

The biggest difference between GIFT and IVF is the fact that during IVF the egg cells get fertilised in the laboratory, whereas with GIFT, the egg cells will get fertilised inside the fallopian tube. Women can only use GIFT if they have at least one healthy fallopian tube, you don’t need a healthy fallopian tube with IVF, since the egg cell is fertilised in the laboratory. During IVF you will get confirmation if the egg cell has been fertilised and you will also be able to assess the quality of the embryo. There is no need to transfer the embryo to your fallopian tube during IVF, so couples do not have to worry about ethical factors when they are choosing an embryo to transfer. GIFT also usually has a higher success rate than IVF.


Pros and Cons of GIFT 

The success rate for GIFT is relatively high since fertilisation happens inside your body in the fallopian tube. The embryo will become healthier when it starts to move down the fallopian tube, giving the embryo a higher chance to implant in the uterus. There is no need for hospitalisation, you are allowed to go home after a few hours of recovery. Your doctor will not be able to determine the quality of embryos, only when using IVF your doctor will be able to do determine the quality of an embryo. You will not be able to do the GIFT procedure if you have blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. 


What Are The Risks of GIFT? 

There are normally no life-threatening risks involved. There is a risk of developing a pelvic infection and puncture of internal organs from the laparoscopy.

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