Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)

A gamete is a mature male or female reproductive cell. At the time of sex cell formation, the two factors that exist for each heredity characteristic separate equally into two gametes. Each gamete then contains a single heredity factor for each characteristic. The gametes exist within the ovum (egg) and the sperm.

For reproduction to occur, the female ovum (egg) must be fertilized by the male sperm. When the sperm and ovum are brought together by means of a medical procedure, the ovum that is used is not fully developed. It is called an oocyte.

Gamete intrafallopian transfer is a variation of in vitro fertilization (IVF). In IVF, oocytes and sperm are gathered and united in a petri (lab) dish. It is in this piece of laboratory glassware that fertilization takes place. In GIFT, oocytes and sperm are gathered and initially prepared as in IVF. However, instead of being united in a petri dish, they are placed in the fallopian tube (one of two ducts that connect the uterus to the area of each of the ovaries) of the foster mother where fertilization will occur.

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