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Assisted hatching is a scientific technique that can improve the implantation of embryos into the women’s uterine lining, by creating an opening through which the embryo can hatch out. Just prior to embryo implantation, the developing embryo must "hatch" out of its outer shell (zona pellucida). Some embryos seem to have a thicker shell that may decrease their ability to implant. This may be due to the age of the woman or other unknown reasons.
Assisted Hatching Recommended for:
WHAT IS ZONA PELLUCIDA?
The unfertilised oocyte is surrounded by a membrane called zona pellucida. The zona pellucida ensures that only one sperm enters and fertilises the egg. After fertilisation, the embryo begins to cleave into a two-cell, then a four-cell and so on.
It has been shown that women older than 37 years of age, have a tendency to produce oocytes with a harder and/or thicker zona pellucida than younger women. The same goes for women with a high level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
The problem of a harder zona pellucida is that the embryo may not hatch and thus not attach to the woman’s womb. Hatching of the embryo is necessary to achieve pregnancy. Laboratory procedures involved in IVF may add to the hardening of the zona, as the embryo is not continually exposed to the enzymes present in the natural environment of the Fallopian tubes.
At IFC we offer laser assisted hatching, which is a gentle and safe way to weaken a part of zona pellucida. This technique evolves creation of precise gap in the ZONA PELLUCIDA using a laser which serves as the energy source to create an opening. The laser system includes the laser and the computer which allows the operator to precisely control the laser energy output, laser pulse duration.
Several studies have shown that using a laser is superior to chemical and manual hatching. Laser assisted hatching has several advantages including; minimal handling of the embryo and delivering fast and exact control over the drilling of the hole.
Laser assisted hatching is performed by a embryologist, prior to the embryos being transferred back to the uterus. Recent researches have show that women with repeated IV Failure increase their chances of a pregnancy by use of assisted laser hatching.
ASSISTED HATCHING SUCCESS RATES
IFC has good success rate with Assisted Hatching. In our centre assisted hatching has produced a improvement in pregnancy rates in women who were above 38 years.