In vitro fertilization and gamete transfer (GIFT)

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
In vitro fertilization, or IVF (I-V-F), is an advanced fertility treatment in which a woman's eggs are placed with her husband's sperm in a laboratory environment to promote fertilization. They divide and are then put back into the woman's uterus. A variation of this technique is to place the sperm and eggs into the woman's fallopian tubes. This is called GIFT (gift), which stands for Gamete (GAM-eet) Intrafallopian (intra-fuh-LOW-pee-an) Transfer. These advanced fertility treatments are minor outpatient procedures and do not involve hospitalization. Treatment by IVF or GIFT is most successful when there are several eggs for fertilization. Therefore, fertility medications are given to a woman, usually over a period of seven to ten days, to aid in the production of several eggs. In order to determine the best time to stop the fertility medications and recover the eggs, ultrasound examinations and blood tests are performed. IVF and GIFT are used to treat infertility problems that cannot be overcome by simpler and less expensive treatment methods.

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