Embryo Assisted Hatching

During the IVF process, the egg is fertilized with sperm in the laboratory. As fertilization takes hold, the cells from the resulting embryo begin to divide. In this early stage, the embryo is contained within a protein layer called the zona pellucida. In order to implant in the uterus, the embryo has to “hatch” out of that layer in order to attach to the uterine lining.

Studies have shown that embryos with a thinner zona pellucida had more success during the implantation stage (attachment to the uterine lining). In select patients, in order to give the embryo(s) a better chance of implantation, a small hole is made in the zona pellucida to help the embryo(s) “hatch” out of the zona pellucida.

IVF with assisted hatching is recommended when either the embryos lack the energy to hatch on their own or when the overall prognosis for implantation is poor. Assisted hatching is also useful in women with previous unsuccessful IVF cycles.

Assisted hatching is safe and effective. The procedure may increased the chance of identical twins.