Reproductive Endocrine Assoc. Assisted Reproduction Q & A

Is GIFT a better fertility treatment?

Not necessarily. GIFT stands for gamete intrafallopian transfer. It involves the placement of ripe eggs directly into the fallopian tube, along with a washed, processed sample of the husband's sperm. It should be noted that the eggs are retrieved by the vaginal ultrasound route just as in routine IVF. However, the egg and sperm are placed into the fallopian tube using Laparoscopy. Thus it is a more complicated surgical procedure than routine IVF.

Patients with GIFT generally experience 5-10% higher pregnancy rates; however, this increased pregnancy rate may be due to patient selection, resulting in a group of patients with a higher chance of successful pregnancy. Since we can not observe fertilization in GIFT, we generally avoid utilizing it for couples with known or suspected male factor infertility. In addition, the fallopian tubes have to be normal to undergo the GIFT procedure, or else tubal pregnancies or failure to achieve pregnancy will ensue. It should be noted that there are experimental methods to perform GIFT through the vagina and cervix by using preformed catheters or ultrasound guidance. These methods have not yet proven to be as successful as routine GIFT, and for this reason they are not routinely advised. At our Institute, we have the capability to also treat endometriosis at the time of GIFT, using Laser Laparoscopy.

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