Understanding Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)

There is a lot going through the minds of couples or individuals in Torrance, California and other parts of the country when they are experiencing trouble getting pregnant. Infertility is a challenging and frustrating condition to deal with, and learning about one's treatment options may help take a little of the unknown out of the process. Most have heard of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) like in vitro fertilization (IVF), but beyond that many are unsure of what treatment is available to them. Zygote intrafallopian transfer, or ZIFT, is another ART procedure that is similar to IVF save for a key difference.

In both IVF and ZIFT, eggs and sperm are combined outside the body—particularly in a laboratory—to create embryos. This differs from gamete intrafallopian transfer as well as natural conception in which fertilization of the egg by the sperm takes place inside of the body. In IVF, the embryos are transferred to the uterus where they may implant in the uterine lining and develop. In ZIFT, after creating the embryos, they are transferred to the fallopian tubes. The embryo will travel to the uterus where it may implant in the uterine lining. 

Another procedure, called tubal embryo transfer, or TET, is very similar to ZIFT in that embryos are created outside of the body in a laboratory and are later transferred to the fallopian tubes. However, ZIFT requires transfer of the embryos before cell division. In TET procedures, the embryos are transferred about two days after the fertilization procedure at which time the embryo may have two to six cells. Transferring the cells later allows the specialist to observe the development of the embryos so they may choose good, healthy ones.

Those who may be considered candidates for ZIFT or TET procedures include those who have mild to moderate male infertility, and the Torrance fertility doctor is unsure that the sperm is able to fertilize the egg. If sperm anti-bodies are present, couples may be considered good candidates for this procedure as well. Women must have one functioning, healthy fallopian tube to undergo this procedure. Those who have failed IVF cycles in the past may be considered candidates as well.

A cycle of ZIFT or TET is about as expensive as IVF procedures, if not more so. Some may incur costs in addition to the procedure if they require hospitalization after the procedure. Most costs are still in the $12,000 to $15,000 range depending on the clinic chosen.

Learn more about zygote intrafallopian transfer in Torrance, California 

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