Medical Definition of Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT): A technique in which the male and female germ cells required to begin formation of a human embryo are injected into a woman's fallopian tubes of the female for fertilization. This technique is one of the methods doctors use to overcome infertility, the inability of couples to produce offspring on their own.

Gametes (germ cells) in males are the spermatozoa, or sperm, and those in females are ova, or eggs. After a sperm fertilizes an egg in the fallopian tubes, the egg implants itself in the uterus (womb), a hollow organ that lodges and nourishes the embryo during its development.

The term "intrafallopian" means "inside the fallopian tubes." ("Intra," a Latin word, means "within" or "inside.") Thus, in the GIFT technique, fertilization takes place inside the body of the female. By contrast, in the technique of in vitro fertilization (IVF), eggs are fertilized outside the body.

"Gamete" is derived from the Greek word "gamete" (wife) and "gamein" (to marry).

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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