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GIFT Fertility treatments

   Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT) is a procedure in which the eggs are mixed with sperm and the mixture is then injected into the Fallopian tube. It is suitable for women who have at least one healthy Fallopian tube. The aim of GIFT is to allow fertilization to occur in the right place and implantation at the right time. One of the main differences between this procedure and in vitro fertilization (IVF) and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) procedures is that the fertilization process takes place inside the fallopian tubes rather than inside the laboratory.

   Who might benefit or who is recommended gamete intrafallopian tube transfer (GIFT)?

   There are selected groups of patients to whom gamete intra-Fallopian transfer (GIFT) is recommended.
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1.Men with infertility problem (not severe).
2.Couples who have had failed donor insemination.
3.Where transcervical embryo transfer is impossible and the patient has one healthy tube.
4.Couples with unexplained infertility.
5.Women with minimal endometriosis.

GIFT and ZIFT constitute less than 1% of all ART treatment in the USA (SART 2005 Report).


How is GIFT performed?

    The procedure is carried out as a day case surgery under a general anaesthetic treatment and involves making three small cuts in the abdomen. Fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries, monitoring is also carried out as with IVF treatment. Eggs may be collected either by a vaginal ultrasound scan or laparoscopically using a fine needle and gentle suction.
   Once the eggs are collected, they are examined under the microscope for quality. The best eggs are then mixed with washed and prepared sperm in a small volume of culture medium. The end of the fallopian tube is grasped gently and a guided fine canula is passed through the fimbrial end of the tube. The mixture of the eggs and sperm is then deposited into the Fallopian tube.

The gamete intra-Fallopian transfer (GIFT) procedure.

   Gamete intra-Fallopian transfer (GIFT) procedures are not regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in the United Kingdom (provided that no donor eggs or donor sperm are used), so it is up to the clinician to decide how many eggs to transfer. However, in most cases, two or three eggs are usually transferred per cycle. Any spare eggs that are collected may be fertilized in-vitro and the resulting embryos are frozen (if they are of good quality to freeze) for later embryo replacement.

   More recently, attempts have been made to simplify the procedure by collecting the eggs by vaginal ultrasound and injecting the egg and sperm mixture into the tube via the cervix using a special catheter. The procedure is usually performed under ultrasound guidance. The reported pregnancy rates with this method are less than that with conventional laparoscopy GIFT.

   After the GIFT procedure, the patient is usually given hormonal supplements, in the form of tablets, pessaries, gel or injection to help the implantation of embryos.

   The last step is to watch for early pregnancy symptoms. Your fertility specialist will probably use a blood test to determine if pregnancy has occurred.

Who should be treated with GIFT?

   GIFT is an assisted reproductive procedure which may be the selected form of treatment for any infertility problems except the following:

1.An anatomic problem with the uterus, such as severe intrauterine adhesions.
2.Tubal blockage
3.Significant tubal damage

   In general, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is a better approach for couples with male factor infertility.

   GIFT is commonly chosen by couples who have failed to conceive after at least one year of trying and who have failed five to six cycles of ovarian stimulation with intrauterine insemination.

Choosing between GIFT and IVF treatment? OR What are the differences between GIFT and in vitro fertilization (IVF)?

   There are several points worth considering when selecting between gamete intra-Fallopian transfer (GIFT) and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The GIFT procedure is simpler and usually less stressful to the couple than IVF. However GIFT requires healthy Fallopian tubes, while IVF can be performed in women with absent or damaged tubes. GIFT also requires a general anesthetic, and its associated complications, while IVF can be performed under a local anesthetic. In addition, GIFT is associated with risks of injuries to bowels, bladder and blood vessels.

   Some infertility clinics offer GIFT because it does not require a HFEA license (in the UK) and and requires less laboratory activity.

   The Roman Catholic church remains strongly opposed to in-vitro fertilization (IVF), its objection grounded on the belief of catholic orthodoxy that human life begins at fertilization. As a result GIFT may be accepted as an alternative.



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