Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer, better known as GIFT, is a procedure used to increase the rates of conception for couples that otherwise have difficulty by normal means. GIFT is the procedure in which eggs are removed from a woman's ovaries, mixed with sperm outside of her body, and replanted into one of her Fallopian tubes in order to encourage fertilization and subsequent attaching to the uterine wall. The process differs from in vitro fertilization because the fertilization itelf takes place inside of the body. While this is a good procedure with success rates that hover around 50 percent in patients who meet the prerequisite conditions for the task, there are a few different conditions which may preclude you from taking part in a GIFT procedure.
Before you begin preparations for GIFT, your fertility specialist will need to examine your Fallopian tubes. At least one tube must be unblocked in order for the procedure to be a success. The reason for this is that, if the tube is blocked, the egg and sperm will not be able to properly fertilize, and the procedure itself will be a waste of time.
Missing Fallopian Tubes
Some women are born without functioning Fallopian tubes. If this is the case, you will not be able to undergo the Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer procedure. The alternative is in vitro fertilization and implanting directly into the womb.
If your uterus is severely damaged or experiences some other type of medical condition that may result in failed pregnancies, there's a chance that GIFT is not a procedure for you as well. Although this depends upon the type of damage and the condition that you suffer from, it's important that you check in with your doctor if you know of any preexisting conditions. Otherwise, the fertility doctor will examine your uterus for signs of viability before you begin hormone preparation for gamete transfer of this type.
Male Factor Infertility
Male factor infertility can be due to a number of different causes. This could include sperm with low motility rates, low sperm count, and a variety of other conditions. In these cases, the procedure of mixing the sperm and egg outside of the body before replanting them within the Fallopian tubes for fertilization will not help to correct the problem. The better option for couples experiencing fertility problems as a result of male factor infertility is the in vitro fertilization process, where fertilization can be more closely monitored outside of the body before the eggs are replanted.
There are a number of other non-medical conditions that may cause you to consider other options instead of GIFT. It is an invasive surgery that requires a laparoscope, and the hormone treatment leading up to the egg transfer can cause uncomfortable side effects in some women. If you have any concerns about the procedure for these reasons, speak with your doctor before beginning preparations for the Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer process.