What is Assisted Hatching?
- Assisted Hatching is a scientific technique practiced in In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) that may enhance the implantation of embryos into a female’s uterine lining by creating an opening through, which the embryonic cells can hatch out.
- It is used to assist the embryo hatch from its protective exterior shell, the zona pellucida, and promote implantation in the uterine wall following embryo transfer.
What is Laser Assisted Hatching?
- Laser-assisted hatching (LAH) uses a highly focused infrared laser beam over the zona pellucida to make a small opening, between 10-20 microns to facilitate embryo hatching. LAH is done just before the Embryo Transfer.
- LAH requires less handling of the embryo than any other assisted hatching methods.
- It is faster than the other methods and, therefore, the embryo spends less time outside the incubator.
- It improves implantation and helps strengthen the Pregnancy rates.
Which patients could benefit from this procedure?
The following patients can benefit from LAH:
- Advanced maternal age (>37 years old).
- Patients with elevated baseline level of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
- Women with poor prognosis embryos, including conditions such as a thick zona pellucida, slow cell division rate, or high cell fragmentation
- Poor quality/slow developing embryos.
- Embryos are exhibiting excessive fragmentation.
- Patient with two or more past failed IVF cycles.
What is the necessary treatment procedure?
LAH process involves the following steps:
On day three of embryo development, the embryologist uses either weak acid in a fine glass pipette, a microlaser or a micro tool to thin or cut a hole in the external layer of the embryo.
If weak acid was used, the embryo is washed to prevent further damage.
Because the assisted hatching thins the protective outer layer around the embryo or makes a hole in it, the woman may be given antibiotics to prevent infection.