Tubal embryo transfer (TET) is similar to GIFT and ZIFT treatment, as it’s also based on the transfer of embryos. The difference with TET is that the embryos are at a more advanced stage of development when they’re transferred than with GIFT or ZIFT.

With TET, the embryos are transferred back into the fallopian tubes two days after fertilisation has taken place in the laboratory. The embryos are at ‘2-cel’l or ‘4-cell’ stage, whereas in ZIFT, the embryos are transferred back the day after fertilisation, known as ‘1-cell’ or ‘zygote’ stage.

An embryo undergoes cell division as it develops – it starts off as a single cell before dividing into two cells, then four, then eight cells and so on, before becoming a blastocyst. A blastocyst is an embryo that has developed for five to six days after fertilisation, reaching around 200 cells, and is ready to be implanted into the uterus.

Is TET for me?

TET can be offered to women who have at least one healthy, open fallopian tube and those who aren’t suitable for GIFT or embryo transfer through the vagina (transvaginal procedure).

How does TET work?

1.      Fertility medication

You’ll be given fertility medication before proceeding with TET to stimulate ovulation. The doctor will monitor you oestrogen levels via blood and ultrasound tests.

2.      Egg retrieval and fertilisation

Eggs are extracted in the same way as with IVF, GIFT and other fertility procedures. The eggs are placed in a culture dish in a laboratory along with sperm and allowed to fertilise. This can take a couple of days.

3.      Implantation

The embryos are then inserted into the fallopian tubes. This is performed as a laparoscopy and involves making a small incision in the abdominal area. Once the embryos have been inserted into the fallopian tubes using a thin tube – the laparoscope – they’re monitored over the next few days to check for signs of pregnancy. A blood test can be done to find out if the treatment’s been successful.

What are the success rates of TET?

The success rates of TET are similar to those of IVF, and are higher in younger women than those over 35.

What are the risks associated with TET?

The risks of TET are similar to those of IVF, ZIFT and GIFT. There’s the potential that you may have a reaction to the fertility medication and a risk of having a multiple pregnancy.

Want to learn more about fertility treatments? Read our blog posts on ZIFT and GIFT. You can also check out our latest quiz, What Alternative Therapies are Safe During Pregnancy?



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Andrew Drakeley

Mr Andrew Drakeley is the Clinical Director at the Hewitt Fertility Centre, working principally at the Liverpool Women’s site but with managerial responsibility for Knutsford.

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