If you’re like me, you’re wondering what the heck these acronyms mean. All three are forms of assisted reproduction technology. At a (very) high level, here is what GIFT, ZIFT and ICSI mean.
GIFT, ZIFT and ICSI all involve egg and sperm collection in the same manner that is done for IVF, but after that, the process differs.
GIFT (Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer)
During GIFT, an incision is made in the abdomen and the collected eggs and sperm are placed in the fallopian tubes using a laparoscope. The hope is that fertilization occurs inside the body naturally, as opposed to fertilizing the egg outside the body before insertion.
ZIFT (Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer)
ZIFT is when the fertilized eggs (called zygotes) are placed in the fallopian tubes rather than the uterus. ZIFT is also done by a laparoscope, but the eggs are retrieved and fertilized on one day and the embryo is transferred the following day.
According to WebMD, In vitro fertilization accounts for at least 98% of all assisted reproductive technology procedures performed in the U.S., while GIFT and ZIFT make up less than 2%. GIFT and ZIFT are not recommended in cases where the woman has damage to her fallopian tubes.
ICSI (Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
During ICSI a single sperm is injected directly into an egg to fertilize it. After a few days in the lab, any fertilized eggs are transferred to the woman’s uterus. ICSI is often recommended when the man has low sperm count, poor sperm motility or abnormally shaped sperm.
For more information, talk to your doctor or view additional resources at:
Have you done GIFT, ZIFT or ICSI? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! What resources can you share with our readers? What was your experience like?