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Assisted hatching

Egg cells and the embryo are surrounded and protected by a covering, so-called zona pellucida. Shortly before the implantation of the embryo into the endometrium, zona pellucida opens and a so-called hatching of the embryo occurs due to a special enzyme and embryonic growth pressure.

There are studies indicating/suggesting that in-vitro culture of embryos as well as cryoconservation can lead to hardening of zona pellucida and therefore to hindering or an absence of hatching. There is a concept suggesting that by means of thinning or opening zona pellucida from its covering hatching could be made easier for an embryo. The most secure method used today for a partial thinning of zona pellucida is laser technique. Nevertheless, clinical significance of so-called assisted hatching has not been completely proved yet. Studies indicate that the most patients do not benefit from an assisted hatching. In view of pregnancy rate, it could be useful only for a small group of patients:

This could include following patients:

  • Patients with many unsuccessful IVF or ICSI attempts instead of good embryos
  • Patients that are older then 38
  • When embryos have a measurably too thick zona pellucida
  • When embryos that have developed from cryoconserved fertilized egg cells are transferred

We will discuss all advantages and disadvantages of this procedure with you in details.