ASSISTED HATCHING: FACILITATION OF IMPLANTATION OF THE EMBRYO.
ASSISTED HATCHING (AH) IS A VALUABLE TECHNIQUE IN IVF TREATMENTS.
While the embryo develops, it is surrounded by cells that make up a protective shell (zona pellucida). The embryo naturally breaks out of this shell as it grows.
During assisted hatching, the outer shell of the embryo is artificially weakened by making a small hole in the zona pellucida. This can be done in several different ways. One method involves the application of an acid solution, called Tyrode’s solution, to help melt a small hole in the shell. Another method involves the use of a laser to “crack” the shell. The hope is that assisted hatching might help the embryo expand, implant into the uterine wall, and finally lead to a pregnancy.
After the embryo attaches to the wall of the uterus, it is essential that it shed the zona pellucida, a tough membrane which protects it during the cultivation period. In some cases the embryo fails to implant because the zona pellucida is too thick.
Assisted hatching may help improve pregnancy chances in women who have failed to get pregnant in previous IVF cycles and those with a poor prognosis (who are not likely to conceive).
Assisted hatching involves creating a minor defect in the membrane, allowing for a better chance of the embryo implanting in the endometrium. The embryo is at no risk during this procedure.