Could Assisted Hatching Help You Get Pregnant?

Could the technique known as Assisted Hatching help you to conceive?

Assisted hatching is sometimes used in women undergoing IVF who have failed to conceive after multiple IVF attempts.  Assisted hatching is typically done if a day 2 or 3 embryos transfer is performed.  WFertility Clinicomen who have had multiple failed IVF attempts or a poor chance of getting pregnant with IVF might be good candidates for Assisted Hatching.

Assisted Hatching is sometimes used in these scenarios:

  • The woman is over the age of 38
  • There have been at least two unsuccessful IVF attempts
  • Thawed frozen embryos are being used
  • Embryos are of poor quality

You might have heard of Assisted Hatching, but be unclear about exactly what it is or how it works.

What is Assisted Hatching?

To understand what Assisted Hatching is and how it works to help you get pregnant, it is necessary to look at what happens normally during IVF, when an egg is inseminated and fertilized in the laboratory.

After the male sperm is mixed with the female egg and fertilization has taken place, the cells begin to divide. During this phase, the embryo is contained within a layer of proteins called the zona pellucida. Typically the growing embryo will expand and thin this membrane and eventually hatch out of the zona to prepare for implantation.

If the embryo is unable to hatch, it is subsequently unable to attach and implant itself to the lining of the uterus.

This translates to no pregnancy.

In Assisted Hatching, micromanipulation of the embryo under a microscope is used to make a small hole in the zona pellucida. This is done most often on the third day, when the embryo consists of about 6-8 cells. The hole is created with an acid or more commonly with a laser.

Does Assisted Hatching Work?

Assisted Hatching

Assisted Hatching

Assisted hatching has been shown to be helpful in achieving pregnancy in women who were otherwise poor candidates for conception, especially after failed Denver IVF attempts.

The technique was created after doctors noticed that embryos with a thin zona pellucida had a higher incidence of successful hatching and implantation on the lining of the womb. By deliberately thinning this protein layer, hatching is facilitated, as is attachment and implantation that leads to a successful pregnancy.

Based on research by New York Cornell Medical College, Assisted Hatching does achieve increased implantation, most particularly in older mothers, as well as women with an elevated FSH on the third day of the menstrual cycle. Another plus is that Assisted Hatching brings about implantation on the uterine lining one day early, which provides more of an opportunity for successful implanting to take place.

Assisted Hatching can be quite successful in helping couples achieve pregnancy!


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