Up to a point, GIFT is similar to IVF treatment – with ovarian stimulation, monitoring and egg (or oocyte) collection. Egg collection is then done with a laparoscopy procedure, although sometimes it can be achieved by transvaginal ultrasound.
With GIFT, at this stage one or two of the best-looking eggs are transferred into the patient's fallopian tubes along with some of the husband's sperm, using a laparoscope.
For GIFT to be considered as a treatment option, at least one of the patient's fallopian tubes – and the partner’s sperm – must be normal. Some patients prefer this treatment option as fertilisation and embryo development occurs in the normal physiological environment – the fallopian tubes.
However, the pregnancy rates for GIFT are lower than IVF, and the laparoscopy procedure is more invasive than an ultrasound guided egg collection. For this reason, it is not commonly performed, unless there are religious or ethical objections to conventional IVF treatment.