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What is gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)?

Dr. John K. Jain, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) was one of the original techniques used in the fertility field. In this technique, sperm and eggs (called gametes) are introduced into the end of the fallopian tube under guidance of a telescopic camera placed in the umbilicus. Naturally, once an egg is ovulated, it is captured by the fallopian tube where it awaits the arrival of sperm for fertilization. The fertilized egg, called an embryo is then transported by the fallopian tube to the uterus to establish a pregnancy. A GIFT procedure aims to mimic this same process by placing the gametes in the same location as would be found in nature. The chances of a successful pregnancy resulting from GIFT are closer to a woman’s natural chances of successful conception.

Dr. Eric D. Flisser, MD
Fertility Specialist

Gamete intrafallopian transfer, or GIFT, was developed in 1984 as a variation of in vitro fertilization, or IVF. GIFT is a procedure that involves ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, and placing a mixture of the sperm and eggs directly into the tubes to foster fertilization inside the female's body. This procedure used to be recommended for couples with unexplained infertility where the female partner had at least one open fallopian tube. Over the past several years, however, the success rate of IVF has dramatically increased, while the success rate of GIFT has stayed the same. Physicians with access to high quality laboratories, therefore, are finding fewer and fewer indications to perform GIFT. In rare cases, it may still be recommended in cases of severe cervical factor infertility. The primary difference between IVF and GIFT is that with GIFT, fertilization occurs naturally within the fallopian tube, instead of in the laboratory.

Gamete intrafallopian tube transfer (GIFT) is no longer used since it involved general anesthesia and a laparoscopy. IVF is more successful today and less invasive.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.