Assisted hatching is a procedure of assisted reproductive technology in which a small hole is made in the zona pellucida thereby increasing the chances of an embryo to implant in the uterus.
In order to attach to the wall of the uterus an embryo first has to break out(hatch) from the shell that is contained in.This shell is called zona pellucida and is thicker in some embryos than others.
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 performed by an experienced embryologist prior to embryo transfer.Using a very high powered microscope a small hole is made in the zona pellucida using a very fine needle.
Views are remained mixed regarding improvement of success rates with this method but most doctors agree that it may be helpful in selected group of patients.