Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) accounts for two to three percent of all assisted reproductive technology fertility treatments performed in the United States. If you're considering the procedure, you may wonder how long the procedure has been around and why it's used so infrequently.
First Incidence of ZIFT
Although in vitro fertilization (IVF) has been successfully performed since 1978, fertility specialists began to look for alternative methods of assisted reproductive technology to discover whether there were more efficient and more successful ways of helping infertile couples conceive. (Only later were the procedures used for surrogate parenting.)
Zygote intrafallopian transfer is derived from gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), which was first successfully performed in 1986. The first successful ZIFT procedure was performed in 1989. GIFT and ZIFT are similar in the method of egg and sperm implantation in that a fertility specialist makes an incision in the woman's abdomen and implants the egg and sperm directly into the woman's fallopian tube with a catheter. ZIFT is about 5% more successful than GIFT because it involves the implantation of zygotes (fertilized eggs) instead of gametes (an unfertilized egg and sperm mixture).
ZIFT's Decreasing Popularity
Zygote intrafallopian transfer was a somewhat popular fertility treatment option for a number of years, but it never quite matched the success rate of in vitro fertilization, which has continued to evolve. Since IVF is also less invasive, it remains the more popular option.