Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)

Definition of Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)

Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves the introduction of both eggs and sperm into a woman’s fallopian tubes, facilitating fertilization inside the body.

Unlike in vitro fertilization (IVF), which occurs in a laboratory dish, GIFT aims to mimic the natural process of conception as closely as possible. Infertile women who are ovulating but have blocked oviducts (fallopian tubes) or infertile couples who desire not to have fertilization outside of the human body for religious reasons could go through GIFT.

Brief Overview of Infertility and ART

Infertility is a condition affecting many couples worldwide, and ART offers solutions to those facing challenges in conceiving naturally. ART methods, including GIFT, assist in overcoming various fertility issues, providing options for couples seeking to start a family.

Historical background of GIFT

GIFT has a rich history, originating in the late 1970s as a response to the growing demand for infertility treatments. It gained popularity as a viable alternative to IVF, particularly for couples who preferred a more natural approach to conception.

GIFT Procedure

A. Induction of Ovulation

Ovulation can be induced by administering a medication that helps to increase egg production.

Timing for egg retrieval is optimized through follicle development tracking using hormone testing and ultrasounds.

B. Retrieving Eggs

A minimally invasive surgical approach is carried out under anaesthesia.

The doctor will use a thin, specialized needle that is usually guided by ultrasound imaging to extract eggs from the ovaries.

C. Preparing Sperm

Ejaculating into a sterile container is how a semen sample is obtained.

To ensure the greatest quality for fertilization, sperm processing entails removing healthy, motile sperm from the semen.

D. Mixing of Gametes

In a lab dish, prepared sperm and eggs are mixed.

The intention is to produce a gamete mixture that most closely mimics the fallopian tubes’ native environment.

E. Transfer the Gametes

Using a catheter, the gamete mixture is inserted into the woman’s fallopian tubes.

The woman’s reproductive anatomy and sperm motility are taken into account during the placing process.

Candidates for GIFT

Gamete intrafallopian tube transfer is suitable for:

  • Couples have unexplained infertility
  • Unsuccessful IVF
  • Both spouses have religious or ethical factors and cannot accept IVF
  • Only at least one side of the fallopian tube is healthy

GIFT Advantages

Replicating Natural Conception

GIFT closely resembles the natural process of conception by allowing fertilization to take place within the woman’s body. This natural approach can be emotionally significant for couples who seek a conception process similar to spontaneous pregnancies. The process of in vivo fertilization in the fallopian tubes may lead to a sense of normalcy and emotional attachment to the pregnancy journey.

The Possibility of Improved Success Rates in Specific Instances

When compared to other assisted reproductive technologies, GIFT may give higher success rates in cases of unexplained infertility. The capacity to manage reproductive issues without requiring laboratory intervention may result in higher success for couples experiencing difficulty conceiving for unknown reasons. This makes GIFT a viable alternative for people who have had no success with other reproductive therapies.

Reduced Chance of Multiple Pregnancy

When compared to other ART techniques, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), GIFT is associated with a lower probability of multiple pregnancies. Natural selection within the fallopian tubes may lessen the possibility of several embryos implanting at the same time, lowering the risks and challenges associated with carrying and delivering multiples. This benefit is consistent to have a healthy and safe pregnancy for both the mother and the growing fetuses.

Risk and Challenges

Possible Medical Risks of Egg Collection

While egg collection is commonly a safe medical process, there are some surgical risks involved. Bleeding, infection, or injury to nearby body parts are all possible dangers. To reduce these risks, thorough medical exams before surgery and well-trained doctors are needed. Furthermore, advances in technologies and techniques continue to enhance the safety of egg collection procedures over time.

Lower Success Rates Compared to Other Fertility Treatments

When matched to more widespread ART methods like IVF, GIFT may have lower success rates. The variation in success rates depends on factors such as the woman’s age, the particular fertility issues being addressed, and both partners’ overall health conditions. Couples considering GIFT must be informed about the potential success rates for their specific situation and consult fertility experts to choose the best treatment option.

The Possibility of an Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is a rare but significant complication of GIFT. Because fertilization takes place within the fallopian tubes, there is a slight chance that the fertilized egg will implant outside the uterus. Early diagnosis through regular monitoring is critical for quickly identifying and managing ectopic pregnancies minimizing the risk of complications. This highlights the significance of intensive medical supervision and follow-up treatment for anyone undergoing GIFT.

Emotional and Psychological Difficulties

The emotional and psychological difficulties associated with infertility therapies, particularly GIFT, are severe. Couples may endure stress, anxiety, and uncertainty about the outcome as a result of the process itself. The possibility of turbulent emotions emphasizes the significance of psychological care and counselling throughout the GIFT process. Open communication between healthcare practitioners and patients can assist in addressing concerns and provide the necessary support to handle the emotional aspects of infertility treatments.

Comparison with IVF

Fertilization Site

GIFT: Fertilization occurs inside the woman’s fallopian tubes, mimicking natural conception.

IVF: Fertilization takes place outside the body in a laboratory dish.

Intervention Level

GIFT: Involves less laboratory manipulation while keeping a more natural approach.

IVF: Before implantation, embryos must be created and selected in a laboratory.

Handling of Gametes

GIFT: Before being delivered to the fallopian tubes, the eggs and sperm are combined in a laboratory dish.

IVF: Eggs and sperm are mixed in a laboratory dish, resulting in the development of an embryo before implantation.

Suitability in Specific Cases

GIFT: More suitable for couples with unexplained infertility or those desiring a less interventionist approach.

IVF: Often recommended for couples with various infertility issues, including tubal blockages, male factor infertility, or advanced maternal age.

Success Rate

GIFT: Success rates vary but can be competitive with IVF in certain cases, particularly when treating unexplained infertility.

IVF: IVF has a greater success rate in general, making it a popular option for couples facing various fertility issues.


GIFT: Due to the lower laboratory participation, it may be more cost-effective in some circumstances.\

IVF: IVF is more expensive because of the extra steps involved, such as embryo culture and selection.

Procedure Complexity

GIFT: Generally less difficult because it needs fewer laboratory processes and manipulations.

IVF: IVF involves several processes, including ovarian stimulation, egg harvesting, laboratory fertilization, embryo culture, and embryo transfer.

Multiple Pregnancy Risks

When compared to IVF, GIFT is associated with a lower chance of multiple pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies are more likely with IVF, which can lead to more difficulties and higher healthcare expenses.

Patient Preferences

GIFT: Appealed to couples who seek a more natural conception process and have ethical or religious concerns about some parts of IVF.

IVF: Selected by individuals who are receptive to more extensive laboratory involvement and have specific fertility issues that IVF may be able to solve more effectively.

Success Rates and Outcomes

Factors Influencing Success

Age of the Woman: The age of the woman is a crucial factor influencing the success of GIFT. Fertility declines with age, particularly after the age of 35, impacting the quality and quantity of eggs. Younger women generally have higher success rates with GIFT.

Fertility Status of Both Partners: The underlying fertility issues of both partners play a significant role. GIFT is more likely to be successful when the male partner has healthy sperm and the female partner has open and functional fallopian tubes. Pre-existing conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also affect success rates.

Other Health Factors: Overall health, lifestyle factors, and underlying medical conditions of both partners contribute to GIFT success. Factors such as body mass index (BMI), smoking habits, and general reproductive health can impact the outcome. Addressing and optimizing these health factors can enhance the chances of a successful GIFT procedure.

Statistical Data on Success Rates

Overall Success Rates: Presenting statistical data on the overall success rates of GIFT helps set realistic expectations for couples undergoing the procedure. Success rates may vary based on the clinic, patient characteristics, and the specific reasons for infertility.

Age-Specific Success Rates: Breaking down success rates by age categories provides more targeted information. For example, success rates may be higher for women under 35 and gradually decrease with advancing age. This information assists couples in understanding how age influences the likelihood of achieving a successful pregnancy through GIFT.

Comparison with Other ART Procedures: Contrasting GIFT success rates with those of other assisted reproductive technologies, such as IVF, provides a broader context. Understanding how GIFT performs relative to other options helps couples and healthcare providers make informed decisions about the most suitable fertility treatment.

Repeat Cycle Success: Providing data on success rates for multiple GIFT cycles is important. Some couples may require more than one attempt to achieve a successful pregnancy. Knowing the likelihood of success with each subsequent cycle informs decision-making and future planning.

Ethical and Religious Considerations

Respect for Human Life: Ethical concerns often revolve around the status of the embryo and the respect for human life. GIFT involves minimal manipulation of gametes compared to some other ART procedures, addressing concerns related to the creation and handling of embryos outside the body.

Informed Consent: Ensuring that individuals and couples fully understand the procedures and potential implications is a critical ethical consideration. Informed consent processes, including discussions about the handling of gametes, help address concerns and align the treatment plan with the values and preferences of the patients.


Lastly, Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) is a one-of-a-kind and valuable alternative in the field of assisted reproductive technologies. Its unique technique, which closely resembles the natural process of conception, appeals to couples looking for a more authentic reproductive journey.

While GIFT has advantages such as a lower chance of multiple pregnancies and a connection to traditional reproductive processes, individual issues like as age, fertility status, and ethical opinions must be considered.


Can GIFT be performed if a woman has tubal blockages?

GIFT requires open and functional fallopian tubes. If a woman has tubal blockages, alternative treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be recommended.

How long does the GIFT procedure take?

The GIFT procedure typically takes a few hours. It involves ovulation induction, egg retrieval, sperm preparation, and the transfer of the gamete mixture into the fallopian tubes.

Are there age limits for undergoing GIFT?

While there is no strict age limit, success rates tend to decline with advancing age. Fertility specialists will assess individual circumstances to determine the suitability of GIFT for older individuals.

What are the costs associated with GIFT?

The costs of GIFT can vary based on factors such as the clinic, geographic location, and individual health circumstances. It’s important to discuss financial aspects with the fertility clinic and explore available options.

Can frozen eggs and sperm be used in GIFT?

GIFT typically involves the use of fresh eggs and sperm to mimic natural conception. Frozen gametes are not commonly used in GIFT, but specific protocols may vary by clinic.

Is GIFT a painful procedure?

GIFT involves some discomfort, particularly during egg retrieval, which is performed under mild anaesthesia. Pain is generally managed with appropriate anaesthesia and post-procedure care.

How long does it take to know if GIFT is successful?

Pregnancy can be confirmed through a blood test approximately two weeks after the GIFT procedure. A follow-up ultrasound may be scheduled to monitor the development of the pregnancy.

Can GIFT be performed after failed attempts with other fertility treatments?

GIFT can be considered after failed attempts with other fertility treatments. A fertility specialist will assess the specific circumstances and recommend the most suitable course of action based on individual factors.