What are the pros of GIFT?
. Natural conception. Conception occurs in the fallopian tube, rather than in the laboratory. This might appeal to you if you'd like your baby to develop as naturally as possible, or if you have specific religious beliefs against conception outside the body. However, there are no medical reasons why natural fertilization is preferable to assisted fertilization.
. No link to cancer. Recent studies have shown no connection between ovulation-inducing fertility drugs and cancer. (Early studies suggested that exposure to fertility drugs might lead to a higher risk of ovarian cancer or other cancers of the female reproductive system.)
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What are the cons of GIFT?
. Costly and time-consuming. GIFT requires expensive lab work, drugs, and surgery. Monitoring your response to fertility drugs also requires a lot of time, with frequent trips to the doctor's office for blood tests and ultrasounds.
. Requires surgery. Transferring eggs and sperm to your fallopian tube requires invasive surgery, unlike IVF.
. Odds of multiples. Because more than one egg is usually placed in the fallopian tube, you're more likely to have twins or other multiples. A large study of GIFT cycles found that if three or four eggs were transferred, the pregnancy rate for twins or triplets was almost 22 percent. (The rate of conceiving twins without fertility treatment is less than 1 percent.) Though many couples consider this a blessing, carrying multiples increases your risk of miscarriage and other complications.
. Other health risks. As in IVF, you have a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy or developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) due to taking fertility medications that cause multiple follicles to mature.
. It may not work. The treatment could be cancelled if you're experiencing OHSS or if not enough follicles develop.
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