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 assisted-hatchingAssisted hatching is a laboratory procedure used to improve the probability of an embryo implanting into the uterine wall after transfer into the uterine cavity. Every embryo has a protective layer that surrounds it called the ZP, which stands for zona pellucida. Before an embryo can implant into the uterus, it must hatch from the ZP. In some women, the zona becomes toughened, restricting the embryo from hatching. The assisted hatching procedure involves thinning or making a small hole in the ZP, which helps the embryo exit its protective “shell” and implant into the uterine lining. Numerous studies have shown that assisted hatching improves pregnancy rates and implantation rates.

How Is Assisted Hatching Performed?

  1. The embryo is held with a specialized holding pipette.
  2. A hole is made in the ZP using either a laser or acid solution. A very delicate, hollow needle is used to expel an acidic solution against the outer “shell” (zona pellucida) of the embryo.
  3. A small hole is made in the shell by digesting it with the acidic solution.
  4. The embryo is then washed and put back in culture in the incubator.
  5. The embryo transfer procedure is done shortly after the hatching procedure. Embryo transfer places the embryos in the woman’s uterus where they will hopefully implant and develop to result in a live birth.

Who Should Be Treated With Assisted Hatching?

The most commonly used indications for assisted hatching with an in vitro fertilization case are:

  • Women over 38 years and using their own eggs
  • Women who had recurrent failure of embryo implantation
  • Women whose embryos exhibit thick ZP (zona pellucida)
  • Women with elevated FSH levels.
  • Women with poor embryo quality

There is hope. Are you ready to make your miracle happen?