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Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)

If your are experiencing difficulty getting pregnant, or if you or your partner are experiencing infertility, one infertility treatment that can be a good option is zygote intrafallopian transfer (or ZIFT). ZIFT is associated with a fairly high pregnancy success rate and is suitable for a variety of common male infertility and female infertility problems. But what exactly does ZIFT involve and what types of infertility problems do this assisted reproductive technology (ART) option work best for?

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What is ZIFT ?

ZIFT is an assisted reproductive technology treatment that combines the procedures involved in in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT).

During ZIFT, a woman's eggs are fertilised with her partner's sperm in the laboratory. Then, once the egg has been fertilised, it is transplanted into the fallopian tubes via laparoscopic surgery. From here, the fertilized egg (or zygote) travels down the fallopian tubes and into the uterus, where, if the process is successful, it is implanted, resulting in pregnancy.

The Procedure: A Closer Look at ZIFT

A typical zygote intrafallopian transfer takes approximately four to six weeks to complete. However, in certain cases, more than one cycle of treatment is required.

First, a woman is given fertility drugs in order to stimulate the ovaries so that they may produce multiple eggs. Once the eggs have matured, they are retrieved and are combined with sperm in the laboratory. Here, they are monitored for fertilisation.

After one day, the zygotes are ready to be retrieved. One to four zygotes are then transplanted into the fallopian tubes via diagnostic laparoscopy. The zygotes are then monitored over the course of a few days in order to monitor for a pregnancy.

How Common is ZIFT ?

ZIFT is not a very common procedure due to the fact that it is considered one of the most invasive forms of assisted reproductive technology. It currently makes up only 1% of all assisted reproductive technology procedures in the United States.

However, ZIFT is increasing in its availability and last year over 280 babies were born in the United States via zygote intrafallopian transfer.

Who Can Benefit from Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer ?

You may be a good candidate for ZIFT if : -
  • you have ovulatory problems
  • your partner has a low sperm count
  • your fallopian tubes are unblocked
  • you have failed to get pregnant after one year of trying to conceive
  • you have undergone five or more failed cycles of intrauterine insemination (IUI)

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