- In This Feature
- The Acronyms
- Inducing Ovulation
- IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)
- The Fertility Guide: The ART Procedures
- Retrieving the Eggs
- GIFT (Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer)
- ZIFT (Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer)
- ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
- Cryopreservation of Eggs
- Decision-Making Guidance for Couples
- Summary and Perspective
ART procedures offer couples opportunities to conceive (where only a few years ago they may have had no chance whatsoever) with success rates that exceed any other procedure or technique available.
IVF stands for in vitro fertilization, which yields what used to be called "test tube babies." IVF is the grandfather of all of these procedures. Louise Brown, the first child conceived as a result of IVF, was born in 1981 as the result of years of research and effort by Drs. Steptoe and Edwards. The years since this initial success have witnessed a virtual explosion of information and understanding relating to this procedure. There are now more than 200 IVF programs in the United States alone, and tens of thousands of couples have conceived healthy children as a result of IVF procedures.
GIFT is the acronym for gamete intrafallopian transfer. GIFT was developed a few years after IVF and entails placing unfertilized eggs and sperm directly into the fallopian tubes.
ZIFT is the acronym for zygote intrafallopian transfer. ZIFT is sort of a hybrid of GIFT and IVF in that fertilization of the eggs occurs in the laboratory, but then the newly fertilized eggs, or zygotes, are placed back into the fallopian tubes rather than into the uterus as they would be in IVF.
ICSI is the acronym for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. ICSI is a micromanipulation technique whereby a single sperm is injected into an egg. This technique may be used in conjunction with either IVF or ZIFT and offers fertility to men with extremely compromised sperm counts.