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Assisted Hatching

Assisted Hatching is an advanced technique of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) that greatly improve the chances of embryo implantation. In India, many couples are affected by infertility issues and one of the causes is the inability of the embryo to complete the process of hatching.

Why is Assisted Hatching required?

In normal conception, before the embryo attaches itself to the womb’s wall, it has to hatch out of its outer layer, which is known as Zona Pellucida. However, the embryo of certain women has a thick zona pellucid layer, which decreases the hatching capacity of the embryo. This is especially frustrating when IVF procedure is used, and it fails to implant the embryo in the uterus. Secondly, lab IVF procedures are known to harden the zona layer, since the embryo lacks the natural fallopian tube environment where it is continuously exposed to enzymes that limit the hardening.

Therefore, Assisted Hatching is recommended for –

  • Women having poor quality of embryo
  • Women who are trying to get pregnant after 38 years
  • Where IVF attempts have failed
  • Thick zona pellucida
  • Embryos derived from frozen eggs

Assisted Hatching Procedure

Fertility experts have discovered that when the outer layer of zona pellicuda is thin, the embryo has a better chance of implanting after IVF. Even though Assisted Hatching does not improve the quality of the embryo, the procedure makes a hole in the zona pellicuda layer to facilitate the implantation.

Assisted Hatching is a laboratory procedure done by either laser technology or by chemical methods. During laser assisted hatching, the outer shell of the embryo (zona pellucida) is breached by firing few laser pulses. Care is taken not to damage the inner cell mass of the embryo. The procedure takes a few seconds per embryo so that the embryos are exposed for a minimum period outside

Safety and Success Rate of Assisted Hatching

Assisted Hatching has shown increased success rate in older women, who have a thickened outer-layered embryo. The thinning of the outer layer or making hole in this layer greatly improves the chances of implantation and pregnancy. Secondly, in cases where IVF has repeatedly failed, the advanced Assisted Hatching procedure has shown very good results.

According to the latest research, Assisted Hatching procedure does not cause any additional risk for the baby to be born abnormal, compared to IVF without this procedure. Since only the outer layer is breached, there is no harm to the embryo.