Gamete Intra-Fallopian Transfer (GIFT) Offers Hope to Patients Dealing with Infertility
Each year, countless couples experience the heartbreaking reality of infertility. What should be a happy time - deciding to build a family - can quickly become one of stress and disappointment. Dr. Janelle Dorsett understands the frustration and sadness that comes along with fertility problems and has dedicated her career to helping patients overcome fertility issues in order to achieve their dream of parenthood. There are countless fertility treatments available to couples dealing with infertility, one of the most well-known being in vitro fertilization, or IVF, an assisted reproductive procedure that aids in multiple stages of conception. IVF has proven successful for a number of patients, but it is not the only option available. Dr. Dorsett also offers gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT) to our Lubbock, TX patients. This treatment is similar to IVF, but differs in that fertilization occurs in the fallopian tubes, rather than in the laboratory, a factor that appeals to many couples.
What Is GIFT?
GIFT, or gamete intra-fallopian transfer, is an assisted reproductive procedure that has a lot of similarities to IVF. As with IVF, GIFT is a fertility treatment that can be beneficial to couples dealing with unexplained infertility, or those in which the husband has a low sperm count or poor sperm quality. GIFT treatment begins with the collection of the woman’s eggs. On the same days as egg retrieval, a sperm sample will be collected. The purified sperm sample is then mixed with the woman’s eggs in a catheter. At this stage of treatment, GIFT differs from IVF. Whereas IVF allows fertilization to occur in the laboratory, during GIFT treatment, the mixed sperm and eggs are immediately transferred (via a catheter) into the woman’s fallopian tubes. The hope is that fertilization will then occur in the fallopian tubes. As a final step of treatment, the woman will be given medication to strengthen the lining of the uterus so that it will be able to support the implantation of a fertilized egg.
GIFT can address a number of fertility issues, including cases of unexplained infertility, so it is a viable treatment option for many couples. However, one of the key factors of GIFT treatment is the fallopian tubes; in order to be a candidate for treatment, the female patient must have at least one healthy fallopian tube. Patients that may prefer GIFT over IVF include those who have been unsuccessful with IVF in the past, and those who ethical concerns regarding IVF treatment and choosing between viable embryos.
Pros and Cons of GIFT
As with any fertility treatment, there are pros and cons to GIFT. Patients should carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure before proceeding with treatment.
- Pros: Many couples see GIFT as a more natural alternative to IVF treatment because it allows fertilization to take place in the body and does not require choosing between viable embryos.
- Cons: GIFT is more limited than IVF treatment in some ways. GIFT is only an option for women with at least one healthy fallopian tube, so it cannot be used by women with a fallopian tube blockage, as IVF can. Additionally, GIFT does not allow for the confirmation and assessment of embryo quality, which is something that is important to many patients.
Dr. Dorsett can discuss GIFT versus IVF treatment with patients in order to determine which fertility treatment more closely meets their unique needs and desires.
Schedule an Appointment
Those who are dealing with infertility do not need to give up on their dreams of parenthood. Dr. Janelle Dorsett offers a number of fertility treatments that can help patients overcome a wide variety of fertility problems. To learn more about our fertility treatments and which may help you achieve your dream of parenthood, schedule an appointment with Dr. Dorsett at your earliest convenience.