What are GIFT and ZIFT?

GIFT and ZIFTSounds like a rhyming game, doesn’t it?

Instead, they are actually two different treatment options that couples have available to them if they are struggling to get pregnant.

GIFT  (Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer)   

GIFT is a fertility procedure that is similar to IVF (in-vitro fertilization), except that fertilization takes place in a fallopian tube instead of in a lab. 

With this procedure, women rev up their eggs with medication such as Clomid and then those eggs are retrieved.  Next, the healthiest egg is combined with alert and eager sperm to be placed into a fallopian tube for the magical fertilization process to begin.  Since fertilization only takes a few hours, the embryo travels and implants to the uterus fairly quickly after the completion of the procedure.

The good news here is that the success rate when using GIFT is very high. Fertility doctors believe it is because when the egg travels along the fallopian tube, it is receiving all the good nourishment it needs to develop.  Also, the egg implants when it is ready to; it is not forced as in IVF. 

When done correctly, the odds are good that all this good mixing and careful placement will end in a pregnancy.

ZIFT (Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer)

A ZIFT procedure is exactly the same as a GIFT procedure, except that the egg and sperm are fertilized in a lab and then placed carefully in the fallopian tube.  Again, the procedure happens quickly after fertilization and the egg once again has the advantages of travelling naturally down the fallopian tube to the uterus on its own schedule.

ZIFT is sometimes preferred to GIFT when doctors want to see and know for sure that fertilization has taken place before placing the zygote into the fallopian tube.

Since both procedures are considered more invasive and expensive than IVF, they are not as commonly offered and/or used. 

The way I see it, both GIFT and ZIFT give the egg a jump start in its journey!  Any advantage is a good one when it comes to trying to get pregnant!


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By TTC veteran and mother of two, Elizabeth Andrews.