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From Conception to Reality: India's ZIFT Breakthrough in Assisted Reproduction an excerpt by Dr. Anjali.
August 28, 2023

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IVF cycles can be a roller coaster of high hopes and despair, with many cycles leading to emotional turmoil. Dr. Anjali, an infertility specialist, experienced a patient named Nicole Williams who had undergone six cycles of IVF in Sydney. Despite her husband's low sperm count, Nicole underwent a perfect IVF cycle but failed to get pregnant again. She sought help from Dr. Anjali, who advised her to try a procedure called GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer), which had a high success rate compared to the standard IVF procedure. Despite trying two GIFT procedures back-to-back, both failed, leaving Nicole with no clue why. One of the most frustrating aspects of failed IVF cycles is that often there are no answers. Nicole expressed her disappointment and hoped that she would succeed in her IVF journey.

Nicole Williams, an Australian woman who had undergone numerous failed IVF cycles, was a testament to her perseverance, dedication, and optimism. Despite her numerous failed cycles, she continued to keep in touch with her doctors and kept updated on her situation. In September 1993, Dr Aniruddha, an Australian doctor, received an urgent request from Nicole Williams to cover her story for a documentary on infertility. The ABC crew arrived in Sydney, Australia, and they were interviewed about Nicole's treatments and the cutting-edge technology in assisted reproduction. The interview lasted almost three hours, and Nicole expressed her desire to give the 18th try to donor egg treatment for infertility. Despite her numerous failed cycles, Nicole continued to keep in touch with her doctors and continued to fight for her rights.

Nicole, a woman with failed IVF cycles, decided to try a new procedure called ZIFT (zygote intrafallopian transfer) to improve her chances of getting pregnant. The doctor, who had been a renowned assisted reproduction specialist, was overwhelmed by her confidence and determination. They found a suitable donor and synchronized their menstrual cycles using oral contraceptive tablets. The doctor decided to try ZIFT, which involved transferring the fertilized egg into the fallopian tube instead of the eggs and sperm. The donor was given hormonal injections to grow her eggs, while Nicole was given hormonal tablets to grow her endometrium. The eggs were retrieved from the donor, and Nicole's husband's sperm was processed in the laboratory, added to the donor's eggs, and fertilized in the laboratory.

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Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.