ZIFT (Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer) treatment is similar in its initial phases to the treatment cycle followed for In Vitro Fertilization. This includes follicle stimulation with hormone injections, egg retrieval, and egg fertilization in a dish using fresh or frozen sperm. The fertilized egg (called a zygote) is transferred back into the patient’s body immediately after fertilization rather than waiting for it to develop to the embryonic stage in the laboratory.
Instead of being placed in the uterus (as would happen with an embryo in traditional IVF), the zygote is inserted directly into the patient’s fallopian tube. This is done via laparoscopic surgery with the aid of a fiber optic camera to ensure precision. The fallopian tube is where the zygote would normally be located at this stage if the egg had been fertilized naturally after release from the ovary. This fertility treatment allows the zygote to follow a normal pattern of progression and development in a natural environment as it travels down the fallopian tube and implants in the wall of the uterus.
As women age, their eggs are more likely to give rise to a genetically abnormal embryo. Placing embryos in the natural environment of the fallopian tube, as opposed to the artificial environment of the IVF lab, lowers stress on the developing embryo and increases the chance of normal development.
ZIFT has demonstrated effectiveness in women over 40 and those who have not responded to multiple rounds of IVF treatment. Many fertility doctors do not offer this procedure to their patients. This is due to a lack of widespread knowledge and skill in this technique rather than any problem with the fertility therapy itself. Successful zygote intrafallopian transfer is backed by the extensive research and clinical experience of Dr. Jain. At the SMF clinic, pregnancy rates for ZIFT patients are over 40%, clearly demonstrating that this approach is valid and fills a useful role in fertility treatment.