Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer

One of the least often used forms of ART (assisted reproductive technology), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) is a combination of IVF and GIFT.

How It’s Done
Starting off like IVF, you will begin by receiving medications that will help your egg follicles mature. Before your body spontaneously releases the eggs, a doctor will retrieve them while you are placed under anesthesia. These eggs will then be taken to a laboratory where they will be combined with your partner’s sperm and left overnight to fertilize.

About a day later, the eggs which have been fertilized will be transferred back to you through laparoscopy. This is a type of surgery that involves a small incision being made just below your navel into which a tiny tube is inserted. Through this tube, the fertilized eggs will be deposited into your fallopian tubes. Between one and four embryos are usually transferred. The embryos will then be left to travel on their own down through your fallopian tubes and into your uterus.

ZIFT can offer couples more reassurance than GIFT because the process of fertilization can be observed. However, compared to IVF, ZIFT doesn’t offer much insight into the development process of the embryos.

Is ZIFT For You?
Women who have a history of ectopic pregnancies or other tubal problems should avoid using this method. You need to have at least one unblocked and fully functioning fallopian tube for this procedure to have any chance of success. Your partner should be able to provide a decent sperm sample. Men with a low sperm count may still be suitable for this technique so long as their count isn’t too low. Men with abnormally low sperm counts may want to use intracytoplasmic sperm injection with ZIFT.

Pregnancy Success With ZIFT
On average, 36% of women are able to get pregnant using ZIFT, while 29% of women have a live birth. However, because several eggs are transferred back to the woman, 35% of the pregnancies that result from ZIFT are multiples with the majority of them being triplets or more. Additionally, there is an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy with this method.

If you plan to use this form of ART, you can expect to pay between $8,000 and $13,000 per cycle or possibly more depending on which clinic you use. However, because this technology is not very popular, fewer and fewer fertility clinics are actually offering this service. Those that do may charge more for it than they do for IVF and GIFT, both of which have similar pregnancy success rates.

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