Gamete intrafallopian tube transfer/transplantation is a method of assisting pregnancy, which includes removing the female egg and sperm and mixing it into the fallopian tube immediately. Unlike in vitro fertilization and intra-fallopian tube transplantation, the process of fertilization in gamete-fallopian tube transplantation is in the fallopian tube rather than in the petri dish. However, a healthy fallopian tube is very important for gamete transplantation.
What is the process of gamete intrafallopian transfer?
- The patient first needs an X-ray to make sure that at least one of the fallopian tubes is healthy. The doctor will do a laparoscope to ensure that there is no scar tissue outside the fallopian tube.
- A laparoscope is used to remove the egg from the ovary
- When the egg is taken out, the man provides a sperm sample
- Eggs and sperm are mixed in a catheter
- The mixed sperm and egg will be put into the fallopian tube through a catheter
- A medicine will be provided to women to help build the endometrium and help implant the fertilized egg
If there are extra eggs, you can use them for IVF and save any viable embryos for future use.
Who can accept gamete intrafallopian transfer?
Gamete intrafallopian tube transfer is suitable for:
- Couples have unexplained infertility
- IVF without success
- Both spouses have religious or ethical factors and cannot accept IVF
- Only at least one side of the fallopian tube is healthy
- Husband’s sperm quantity and quality. However, according to the National Institute of Health and Wellness: “There is insufficient evidence to show that couples with unexplained fertility problems or male factor fertility problems are more likely to use intragamete or in-vitro fertilization.”
What is the difference between gamete intrafallopian transfer and in vitro fertilization?
- In vitro fertilization is the fertilization of an egg in the laboratory instead of fertilization in the fallopian tube as gamete intrafallopian transplantation
- Women can also use IVF to become pregnant if the fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged
- In vitro fertilization allows confirmation of fertilization and assessment of embryo quality
- There is no need for in vitro fertilization in the fallopian tube, so couples do not have to consider ethical issues when choosing which embryo to transfer
Pros and cons:
Because the fertilization happens inside her body instead of a petri dish, the success rate with GIFT is relatively high. Experts think that the journey through the fallopian tube nourishes the new embryo, giving it a better chance of being healthy and able to implant in the uterus. Another reason for the increased success rate could be timing. The embryo arrives at the “right” time for implantation. as opposed to IVF, in which the embryo arrives in the uterus when the doctor places it there, and that may not be the right timing for her body.
- You do not need to be hospitalized during gamete fallopian tube transplantation. After this process, the patient generally needs about 8 hours to recover.
- Doctors cannot visually confirm fertilization or determine the quality of embryos.
- Women with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes are not able to perform gamete intrafallopian transplantation.
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Want to Know More?
- Infertility 101: What You Need to Know First
- Male Infertility
- Female Infertility
- Infertility Medications
Compiled using information from the following sources:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013). Infertility faqs.
- Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority. (2009). What is GIFT and how does it work?
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2013). Fertility: Assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems.
- RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. (2014). IVF/ART.
- The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System. (n.d.). Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)