Recovery after Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)

Gamete intrafallopian transfer is a procedure that's used to aid in fertilization for women who have had a difficult time becoming fertilized through natural means. This procedure, commonly abbreviated by the acronym GIFT, is useful in helping the eggs and sperm to meet up in the fallopian tubes, which assists in the likelihood that the eggs will be successfully fertilized (and will manage to attach to the uterine wall).

In order to understand the recovery process for a gamete intrafallopian transfer, you must first recognize what the procedure is.

The GIFT Procedure

GIFT begins with a thorough inspection of the woman's reproduction system to determine whether or not there is a viable Fallopian tube for transfer. If not, the GIFT process will be impossible to complete. If so, the doctors supervising the GIFT procedure will put the woman on hormone drugs designed to stimulate ovarian follicle growth. These drugs are usually started approximately 4 to 6 weeks before the transferal process itself is planned to occur.

Doctors closely monitor the growth of the ovarian follicles to determine their readiness to produce viable eggs. When the follicles have reached a critical level of growth, the doctors provide the woman with an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, which is a drug designed to stimulate the production of eggs.

24 to 36 hours after this injection, the eggs are harvested from the ovaries and are mixed with the sperm. They are then transferred to the fallopian tube by means of a laparoscope. The use of a laparoscope in this procedure makes it somewhat more invasive than IVF, and causes for additional recovery time.

Recovering from GIFT

Much of the work surrounding the GIFT procedure is leading up to the transfer itself. However, many woman experience some discomfort and must recover briefly from the hCG treatment or the laparoscope transfer. The most important part of the recovery and the post-transfer protocol is to thoroughly and closely monitor for signs that one of the ggs has been fertilized and that it has then attached to the uterine wall.

You can work closely with your doctor to monitor the status of your eggs after the fallopian tube transfer. You can also continue to take additional drugs and hormones to help encourage the fertilization process and the attachment of the egg to the wall of the uterus.

Typically, you'll be able to determine whether the procedure successfully resulted in fertilization within a few days. You will need to schedule additional doctor's appointments and visits during that time to closely monitor the status of the egg.

If you have attempted to become pregnant through standard means and have been unsuccessful, GIFT may be a procedure that can help you to achieve fertilization. Speak with a reproductive specialist or your general practicioner about the possibility of seeking reproductive assisting procedures like GIFT, and whether they are viable choices for you given your age and egg quality.

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