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Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)

What is Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT) / Tubal Embryo Transfer (TET)?

Another ART procedure is zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT). This technique differs from GIFT in that fertilization takes place in the lab rather than the fallopian tube. However, the two procedures are similar in that there is laparoscopic transfer to the fallopian tube rather than the uterus, as is done when IVF is performed.

A woman is given hormones to produce a multitude of eggs. The eggs are then extracted from the woman via a surgical needle and combined with sperm in a Petri dish. Once fertilized, the embryos are placed into the fallopian tube from a small incision in the woman’s abdomen during laparoscopic surgery. This normally occurs the day after the eggs are retrieved. If the procedure is a success, the embryo will travel to the uterus for implantation.

In ZIFT, embryos are transferred at the zygote stage prior to cell division. During Tubal Embryo Transfer (TET), embryos are transferred to the fallopian tube about 2 days after fertilization when the embryo has developed into 2 to 6 cells. TET is used to choose the ideal embryos for transfer after monitoring their development.

Who is a candidate for ZIFT/TET?

Candidates for the ZIFT/TET procedures have at least one functional fallopian tube. ZIFT is most appropriate in cases of mild to moderate male infertility where there is a question about the capacity of the sperm to fertilize the egg and in cases where anti-sperm antibodies are being produced. Other candidates for this procedure include patients who have failed previous IVF cycles as a result of poor embryo quality.

What are the risks for ZIFT/TET?

The risks associated with ZIFT and TET are similar to GIFT. Surgical complications are rare, but can occur. There is a higher risk of multiple births with ZIFT and TET due to the fact that more than one fertilized embryo are transferred. The number of embryos to transfer is dependent on the age of the recipient.

What is the costs ZIFT/TET?

ZIFT and TET are much more expensive procedures than IVF. Patients must include the costs of the outpatient hospitalization in addition to the cost of the procedures. The average costs range from $12,000 to $15,000 per attempt.

What is the success rate?

Statistically, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) combines all forms of assisted reproductive technology together to determine the overall success rate. There is no way to determine a success rate from each procedure except on an individual clinic basis. The following represents the success rate for a live birth using ART procedures.

  • Women under age 35 – 45.8%
  • Women 35-37 – 37.2%
  • Women 38-40 – 28.2%
  • Women over 41 – 18.5%


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