Assisted hatching ivf

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Assisted Hatching is a method of trying to imitate nature by thinning the zona pellucida of an embryo produced by IVF, before it is introduced into your uterus. The theory is that doing this will increase the rates of implantation and therefore enhance your chances of getting pregnant.

If you are embarking on a cycle of IVF your specialist may suggest assisted hatching. This treatment is available in infertility clinics around the world but it will only be offered if your doctors think it will be of benefit to you.

The assisted hatching procedure is generally performed prior to embryo transfer on day 3, 5 or 6 after fertilization using various methods. Before being transferred back to the womb a hole is made in the outer layer of the embryo or it is thinned, using acid, laser or mechanical methods.

The most commonly used indications for assisted hatching with an in vitro fertilization case are:

  • Women over 39 who are using their own eggs, particularly if they are frozen and then thawed. The zonae of embryos produced by older women are known to be tougher and thicker than embryos that develop from eggs from younger women. The freezing process may also thicken the outer layer of the embryo.
  • Women whose embryos have a thicker outer layer than is usual.
  • Women who have had two or more IVF cycles in which viable embryos have failed to implant.
  • Women who have higher than normal levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), as they are known to produce eggs with thicker zonae.

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