New In-Vitro Fertilization Procedure Used Successful
for First Time at Tyler Clinic
Los Angeles, January 27, 1996, A promising new
variation on the in-vitro (or "test tube") fertilization procedure has resulted
in a successful pregnancy at the Tyler Medical Clinic, a leading private medical
center specializing in the treatment of infertility.
The new procedure, called gamete intrafallopian transfer, or GIFT, involves
combining a couple's sex cells and placing them immediately in the woman's
fallopian tubes, where fertilization normally takes place. Under standard
in-vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques, fertilization takes place outside the
body after laboratory incubation of up to 72 hours, with the fertilized egg then
being placed directly into the uterus.
Dr. Jaroslav, Marik, director of the Tyler Clinic, reported one of his patients
became pregnant in November following the GIFT procedure. She is now in her
third month and the pregnancy is proceeding normally, Marik said.
"We believe it is the first GIFT pregnancy on the West Coast and, since
the technique was introduced fairly recently it is among the fewest pregnancies
achieved in the U.S. with this procedure so far," Marik said, adding that he
believed the Tyler Clinic's program is only the third in the nation to produce a
GIFT has been hailed as more natural, simpler and less expensive than the IVF
method. Fertility experts, including Marik, also believe GIFT will
eventually yield a greater success rate than IVF-induced pregnancy attempts.
Marik said that GIFT, while not a substitute for IVF, represents an attractive
alternative to a variety of situations where infertility is diagnosed either in
the male or female. These include women with cervical diseases, endometriosis or
unexplained fertility problems, and men with low sperm counts or poor semen
The new technique also avoids the artificiality of IVF because fertilization
takes place in the woman's body rather than in the laboratory, where
complications such as contamination and equipment malfunction can occur. In
addition, eggs fertilized using IVF have been shown to develop more slowly than
naturally-fertilized ova, Marik added.
"GIFT allows the fertilized ova to mature more fully before they travel to
the uterus. A woman's body is still the best incubator we know for the
fertilization process to take place in," Marik commented.
The one-step GIFT procedure requires approximately one hour and a single
hospital visit, while IVF requires two steps and two visits as well as
monitoring of the ova during the laboratory incubation period.
GIFT can only be used in cases where at least one of the woman's fallopian tubes
is functioning properly, Marik said, which means IVF will still be used in cases
where a patient's tubes are diseased, damaged or missing. In addition, Marik
reported there is a slight chance of GIFT patients developing tubal ("ectopic")
pregnancies as a result of the procedure.
"The technique has been used successfully so few times that we're still
evaluating the risk of tubal pregnancy," Marik said.
The Tyler Clinic will continue its IVF program, but will use GIFT in more cases
where candidates qualify for the procedure, Marik reported.
"We are very impressed with this development, and are pleased to be one of the
few facilities that has enjoyed success with it," he said. "This is not the next
step after IVF, but is one more weapon in our arsenal for helping more couples
realize their dream of having children.
The Tyler Medical Clinic was founded nearly 40 years ago as one of the nation's
first medical facilities dedicated exclusively to the treatment of infertility
with the latest medical techniques. The Clinic also offers OBGYN and family
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