What are the GIFT and ZIFT?
GIFT and ZIFT are fertility assisted methods used as IVF substitutes. GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer) and ZIFT (zygote intrafallopian transfer) are modified versions of in vitro fertilization. In GIFT, the sperm and eggs are mixed together and immediately inserted. On the other hand, with ZIFT, the fertilized eggs –” zygotes”– are inserted within 24 hours of the mixing. In these methods, gametes or zygotes are transferred to the fallopian tubes via laparoscopy rather than inside the uterus. In this article, you can learn more about Gift and Zift in Iran. Learn more about laparoscopy: What is laparoscopy?
In the past, the success rate of GIFT and ZIFT treatments in women with normal uterine tubes was higher than the IVF method. That’s why it was common to use them.
But today, the success rate of IVF is well beyond the GIFT and ZIFT. In addition, there are few cases that can justify the costs and risks associated with gametes or zygotes through surgery. Therefore, these methods are rarely used in infertility treatment and in special cases.
When are GIFT and ZIFT recommended?
If the uterine tubes are normal and healthy, GIFT and ZIFT can be used in all types of infertility. To use GIFT and ZIFT methods, sperm must have the quality and motility needed to enter the egg and fertilize it. Therefore, this method is not recommended in cases of severe problems in men. (Learn more about male infertility: Factors Causing Infertility in Men) However, the presence of low invasive treatments with a higher success rate has possible the use of GIFT and ZIFT methods only in specific cases. The specialist doctor may recommend GIFT or ZIFT if the ovaries are healthy after several failed IVF and ICSI cycles (Learn more about causes of IVF failure: Causes of IVF failure). In addition, in couples facing personal, ethical, or religious barriers to IVF and Fertilization outside the body, the GIFT method may be the only option available.
How are GIFT and ZIFT done?
The steps of GIFT and ZIFT are very similar to IVF. However, in GIFT and ZIFT methods, gametes or fertilized cells are transferred to the uterus by surgery (under anesthesia) instead of being placed in the uterus. The process of infertility treatment with GIFT and ZIFT methods is as follows:
- Ovulation stimulation: Medications are prescribed to stimulate ovulation to increase the likelihood of producing more oocytes in a female cycle.
- Oocyte retrieval: The specialist retrieves the matured -oocytes using a special needle from the cells containing the oocyte.
- Sperm collection: Semen samples are collected naturally from the male sex partner using either PESA or TESE methods (In zero sperm condition or Azoospermia cases). High-quality spermatozoa are extracted from the sample in the laboratory and prepared to continue the treatment process.
- Egg Fertilization: The Difference between the GIFT and ZIFT Methods is in the type of Egg Fertilization.
In the GIFT method, the eggs are transferred to the oviducts with the ready-made sperm (gamete) to be fertilized naturally. But in the ZIFT-like IVF method, the eggs are exposed to sperm in the laboratory to be fertilized. When the embryo’s primary cell (zygote) is formed, it is transferred to the ovarian tube in less than 24 hours to continue its growth there.
- Transfer to fallopian tube: Gametes or zygotes should be transferred to the fallopian tubes regardless of whether the physician used the GIFT or ZIFT method to treat infertility. Transfer of gametes or zygotes into the fallopian tubes is performed by laparoscopy under anesthesia. Two weeks after the transfer of gametes or zygotes to the uterus, a pregnancy test is performed to evaluate the success of treatment. learn more about the ways to boost your chances of IVF success: Ways to Increase Your Pregnancy Chances
The risks of infertility treatment by GIFT or ZIFT methods:
Because of the risks associated with GIFT and ZIFT treatments, today these methods are rarely used to treat infertility. The risks of infertility treatment using the GIFT and ZIFT methods are as follows.
- Anesthesia in surgical procedures can have risks and complications.
- The risk of ectopic pregnancy in these methods is relatively high. (Ectopic pregnancy occurs in 1% of cases.)
- The likelihood of multiple pregnancies in these methods is similar to IVF. (About 12% of multiple pregnancies occur with GIFT and ZIFT methods.)
- The risk of miscarriage or stillbirth is high. (About 18% of pregnancies result in miscarriage or stillbirth.)
You can learn more about IVF risks: Risks of IVF
You can contact us for more information about the Gift and Zift in Iran and their cost.