Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) is an infertility treatment where a blockage in the fallopian tubes are the cause. Egg cells are removed from a woman's ovaries, and in vitro fertilised. The resulting zygote is placed into the fallopian tube by the use of laparoscopy. The procedure is a spin-off of the gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) procedure.
It takes, on average, 5 weeks to complete a cycle of ZIFT. First, the woman must take a fertility medication to stimulate egg production in the ovaries. The doctor will monitor the growth of the ovarian follicles, and once they are mature, the woman will be injected with human chorionic gonadotropins (hCG). The eggs will be harvested approximately 36 hours later, usually by transvaginal ovum retrieval. After fertilization in the laboratory the resulting early embryos or zygotes are placed into the woman's fallopian tubes using a laparoscope.
Both GIFT and ZIFT are most effectively used to artificially fertilize with temporary or permanent blockages in fallopian tubes, because they allow placement of gametes or a zygote past the blockage. However, the need for two interventions and the fact that IVF results are equal or better (in 2004) leaves few if any indications for this intervention.
ZIFT, like IVF, is considered controversial because it makes preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) possible, allowing potential parents to select the genetic makeup of their child before it is ever even implanted. Despite fears about possible negative social implications of PGD (such as those depicted in the dystopian science fiction film Gattaca), PGD is still commonly practiced alongside ZIFT and IVF.
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