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Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)

Advantages

One reason you and your partner may be attracted to GIFT is because it allows for fertilization to occur in natural surroundings. For some couples, it is against their personal or religious beliefs for fertilization to take place outside the body, so they turn to the most natural forms of ART in hopes of conceiving. While there are no medical reasons why natural fertilization is more favorable than assisted fertilization, many couples believe the potential for their baby to develop as naturally as possible to be the biggest advantage of GIFT.

Disadvantages

One disadvantage of GIFT comes from taking fertility drugs, which have been known to cause severe side effects, such as nausea, hot flashes, insomnia and depression, so you will need to be closely monitored by your doctor while you're taking them.

A second disadvantage is the invasive surgery (laparoscopy) that is required in order to harvest and transplant your eggs. Thirdly, because the fertilization process cannot be observed, there is no guarantee that any of the eggs will be fertilized.

Undergoing GIFT also increases your chances of having a multiple pregnancy, which occurs in 35 percent of GIFT pregnancies, because more than one egg is transferred into your fallopian tube. While you may be happy to have more than one baby, the risk of miscarriage and other complications are significantly increased in such cases. There is also a greater risk of ectopic pregnancy associated with all ART procedures, in which case an embryo implants in your fallopian tube or abdominal cavity rather than your uterus.

There is a longer list of disadvantages than advantages of GIFT, but it is up to you and your partner to decide if the possible end result - a baby - is worth it, and it usually is!

Success Rates

Like all ART procedures, GIFT success rates vary depending on your specific fertility issues and your age. Younger women usually have healthier eggs and, therefore, higher success rates. The chances of getting pregnant after one cycle of GIFT are approximately 35 percent, while the chances of carrying a baby to term are approximately 27 percent.

Cost

In the United States, one cycle of GIFT can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000. The price varies depending on where you live, your medications, and the number of cycles you undergo. Oftentimes your insurance company will pay a portion of the cost of the procedure, but if they don't, you will be expected to pay the full amount upfront.

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