WHAT IS ASSISTED HATCHING AND WHEN IS IT NEEDED?

Assisted hatching is a technique used primarily to assist those couples who have had one or more failed IVF cycles in the past. Often, these failed cycles have occurred as a result of the embryo failing to implant within the uterus.

For women who have a poor prognosis for their next IVF cycle, assisted hatching is likely to be suggested as an option to better the chances of a successful pregnancy.

HOW WAS ASSISTED HATCHING DEVELOPED?

Assisted Hatching (AH) was developed when fertility experts took notice of what IVF implantation cycles were having the most success. After it was determined that those embryos with a thinner zona pellucida (the coating of the egg) had the highest chance of implantation, this process was made in which the embryologist uses a microscope to create a small hole in this wall.

Assisted hatching is suggested for those embryos that have been found to have a thicker than normal zona pellucida in order to increase the likelihood of an implantation. This is performed on the fourth day of embryo growth when there is, on average, between 6 to 8 cells in development.

To administer an assisted hatching, the embryo is carefully removed from the incubator and held stable by a pipette. A second pipette, containing an acidified solution, is carefully applied to create a weaker zona pellucida to make implantation easier. The embryo will be rinsed to ensure there are no acidic remnants remaining before being returned to the incubator for a number of hours.

HOW SUCCESSFUL IS ASSISTED HATCHING?

Assisted hatching has been determined to increase the chances of an implantation occurring in those patients who have been evaluated as having a poor prognosis for their Denver IVF cycle. AH is also used for those patients who have had two or more failed cycles in the past. If the embryos to be used within an IVF cycle have been determined to be of poor quality, they will likely be used in an assisted hatching. Due to the difficulty in administering the technique, the overall success chance depends largely on the skill of the Colorado reproductive embryologist.

HOW SAFE IS ASSISTED HATCHING?

The safety of assisted hatchings varies, largely in part due to the variety in administering the technique. One common complication that may arise is potential damage to the embryo during the weakening of the wall, with potential damage to individual embryonic cells. There is also a loose association with an increasing chance of having a pregnancy that results in monozygotic twins, due to the possibility of the zona pellucida having been thinned too much.

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Importance of Tests Before Tubal Reversal

Reversing the effects of a tubal ligation is an increasingly viable option for many women seeking to have a child. Our expert explains the procedure and the need for a fertility evaluation and other tests in advance of the surgery.

What a Semen Analysis Can Tell Us

When you’re concerned about fertility, the process of finding out what is causing it can seem overwhelming. Our team is committed to breaking it down for you in easily understood steps. Here’s what you need to know about the semen analysis.

What Does a Basic Infertility Workup Entail?

Confused about infertility treatments and how to get started? Our nationally recognized team explains the basics, starting with an infertility workup and how we proceed from there to help make your dreams reality.

What Every Woman Should Know About Her Eggs

Have you ever wondered what’s happening to your eggs before they get started on that long journey down your fallopian tubes? And how does that relate to fertility? Our expert explains.

Are Some People More at Risk of Infertility Than Others?

You may be surprised to learn that infertility is a relatively common issue that affects about 15% of couples who’ve been trying to conceive for at least a year. Learn the common risk factors for infertility and how a specialist can help.

What Does Home Insemination Entail?

Home insemination is one of the many effective treatments available to people who are experiencing fertility issues. A nationwide leader in Reproductive Endocrinology discusses the procedure and the potential benefits of home insemination.