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Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) is an advanced form of embryo transfer; in this version, the fertilized and dividing embryo (early cleavage-stage embryo) is carefully transferred to the fallopian tube during laparoscopy. The other term for ZIFT is tubal embryo transfer (TET).  This is very different from GIFT; in the latter the fertilization process takes place in a Petri dish and not the fallopian tube. The procedure is also different from IVF as the fertilized egg is transferred into the fallopian tube, instead of into the uterus.

Though all these similar–sounding acronyms may seem a little confusing, the simple fact is that ZIFT offers the best of IVF as well as GIFT; it offers documentation of fertilization In Vitro. Because the tubal transfer process is used, the pregnancy rates are higher too.

The better option

ZIFT is a distinctly better option compared to the traditional embryo transfer to transfer embryos into the uterus. On Days 1, 2 & 3, the embryo belongs in the fallopian tube and not really in either in the Petri dish or the uterus. Instead of putting the embryos into the woman’s uterus on either Day 2/3, its best to put them into the fallopian tube earlier, where they actually belong. ZIFT pregnancy rates have always been significantly higher in comparison to IVF-ET because:

  • The fallopian tube is a much better environment for the early human embryo compared to the incubator
  • In the ZIFT procedure, the  synchronization between the embryo and the uterus is far better; it’s also why the implantation rates are better compared to conventional IVF
  • Using the ZIFT procedure, the doctor can bypass the cervix; this helps in women who have failed a previous IVF cycle (because their embryo transfer was traumatic or difficult),or  those with cervical stenosis

Unfortunately, not too many IVF clinics across the world have either the ability or the expertise to perform this advanced procedure. It’s simply because most IVF specialists don’t have the necessary skills to perform an operative laparoscopy. Since most IVF clinics are standalone ones they don’t even have easy access to an OT.

Advanced Medical Services

In the United States, OT services and anesthesiologist fees are prohibitively high and a large percentage of IVF clinics just can’t afford to offer their patients these options (though the pregnancy rates with this procedure are much higher). We are very proud about  the fact that we are one of the few IVF clinics in the world that have the ability, facility and the skills to do a ZIFT as we have our own dedicated Operation Theater and anesthesiologist.

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!

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

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