Assisted hatching is an assisted reproductive technology procedure that involves creating a small opening in the zona pellucida, the protective outer shell of an embryo. This process enhances the likelihood of successful implantation of the embryo in the uterus. Before an embryo can attach to the uterine wall, it must first “hatch” from the zona pellucida, which varies in thickness among different embryos.
The indications for assisted hatching are:
- Women older than 35 years
- Women with high FSH levels
- Women with repeated IVF failures
- Cases where a thickening of the zona pellucida is noted by the embryologist
Assisted hatching is a procedure conducted by a skilled embryologist prior to embryo transfer. With the aid of a powerful microscope, a tiny hole is created in the zona pellucida using a fine needle. The effectiveness of this technique in improving success rates is a topic of debate among experts. However, many doctors concur that it may provide benefits in specific cases and for certain groups of patients.