Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer

Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) is a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART). With ZIFT, the egg and sperm are combined in a petri dish for fertilization. The resulting embryos are transferred to the fallopian tube. Because the fertilized egg is placed in the tube, the procedure is also called tubal embryo transfer (TET). For ZIFT to work, the woman must have healthy fallopian tubes.

 

What is the difference between ZIFT and GIFT?

Gamete intrafallopian tube transfer involves placed eggs and sperm in the fallopian tube. When ZIFT is used, embryos are placed in the tubes.

 

How is ZIFT performed?

The ZIFT procedure involves the following steps:

  1. The woman takes ovarian stimulation medications so multiple eggs form.
  2. The eggs are collected from the ovarian follicles by means of aspiration.
  3. The eggs are fertilized with the male partner’s sperm in the laboratory, as with the IVF procedure.
  4. The resulting embryos (fertilized eggs) are transferred to the fallopian tubes through a laparoscopic procedure, which involves using a catheter.
  5. A blood test is used to determine pregnancy once symptoms occur.

 

Who is a candidate for the ZIFT procedure?

ZIFT is an ART procedure, used for certain infertility problems. This technique is chose by couples who fail to conceive after a year, and couples who fail on 4-6 cycles of fertility medications and intrauterine insemination. Candidates for ZIFT include:

  • Women with tubal blockage
  • Women with significant tubal damage
  • Men who produce sperm that cannot penetrate an egg
  • Women who have anatomical problems with the uterus, such as adhesions

 

How is ZIFT similar to IVF?

ZIFT and IVF both require embryo culture, and they both tend to be used to treat women with more severe infertility problems, such as damaged fallopian tubes. ZIFT and IVF both allow the fertility specialist to select the best embryos for transfer. ZIFT involves placing the fertilized embryos into the fallopian tubes whereas IVF involves placing the embryos in the uterus. The procedure is done using laparoscopy to transfer the embryos.

 

How is ZIFT performed?

ZIFT involves a small incision made below the navel so a tiny catheter can be inserted. Through this tube, fertilized eggs are deposited into the fallopian tubes. The embryos are left there to travel down into the uterus for implantation.

 

What are the pregnancy rates using ZIFT?

Approximately 36% of women get pregnant with the ZIFT procedure, and around 30% have a live birth. Because several embryos are placed in the woman’s fallopian tubes, 35% of pregnancies from ZIFT are multiples, with the majority of these being triplets or higher orders.

 

How much does ZIFT cost?

If you plan to use ZIFT, expect to pay around $10,000 per cycle. Because this procedure is not as popular as IVF, not many fertility centers offer this service. Those clinics that offer ZIFT charge more for it than they do GIFT and IVF, which have similar pregnancy success rates.

 

What medications are used for the ZIFT procedure?

For superovulation, fertility medications are administered to stimulate the ovaries to produce numerous mature eggs, which are called ova. Clomid is the most common drug used, and it increases the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the woman. These hormones are necessary for egg maturation. When Clomid is not enough to mature the eggs, the female will self-inject additional LH and FSH to supplement the oral Clomid.