Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT)
What is GIFT in terms of Infertility Context?
Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT) is a fertility treatment procedure that is similar to in vitro fertilization (IVF) in some ways but differs in how fertilization takes place. GIFT is a method used to help individuals or couples who are struggling with infertility achieve pregnancy, particularly when there is a specific issue with the woman’s fallopian tubes, unexplained infertility, or religious or personal objections to the laboratory fertilization aspect of IVF.
How Is GIFT Different From Other Techniques?
GIFT is exactly like IVF in relation to the preparation, sperm collection and foetus monitoring. The difference is that instead of fertilising the egg in laboratory conditions the sperm is placed inside the fallopian tube near the egg. This technique is nearer to the natural fertilisation process as compared to the other techniques.
Who Would GIFT Be Most Useful For?
GIFT will be most useful for
- Couples with unexplained fertility issues.
- Women whose fallopian tubes are not blocked or damaged.
- If sperm count or motility rate is low.
- The couple objects to IVF for religious or other reasons.
- Ovulation Stimulation: The woman typically undergoes ovarian stimulation using medication to encourage the ovaries to produce multiple eggs.
- Egg Retrieval: Once the eggs are mature, a minor surgical procedure is performed to collect the eggs from the ovaries. This is similar to the process used in IVF.
- Sperm Collection: A semen sample is collected from the male partner or a sperm donor, similar to IVF.
- Mixing Eggs and Sperm: Unlike IVF, where the eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory dish for fertilization, in GIFT, the eggs and sperm are mixed together in a special catheter.
- Transferring the Gametes: The mixed eggs and sperm are then immediately transferred into the woman’s fallopian tubes through a thin tube (catheter) inserted through the cervix. This transfer of gametes takes place within the woman’s body.
- Fertilization Inside the Fallopian Tube: Fertilization occurs inside the fallopian tube as it would naturally, rather than in a laboratory dish.
- Embryo Development and Implantation: After fertilization, if successful, the embryo travels down the fallopian tube and into the uterus, where it may implant and result in pregnancy.
GIFT and IVF
GIFT is a less commonly used fertility treatment compared to IVF because it requires the fallopian tubes to be open and functioning, which is not always the case for individuals with certain tubal issues. It also requires a more precise timing of the procedure since fertilization occurs inside the woman’s body rather than in a controlled laboratory environment.
The decision to choose GIFT over IVF is influenced by individual circumstances, the underlying cause of infertility, and medical recommendations. GIFT may be more suitable for those with specific medical conditions or personal preferences, but it is essential to consult with a fertility specialist to determine the most appropriate treatment for your unique situation.