What is Assisted Embryo Hatching?
During the early stages of development, the embryo is held in a layer of proteins called the zona pellucida. IVF cycles may fail due to the inability of the embryo to hatch out of this layer of proteins and are prevented from implanting in the uterus. Assisted embryo hatching is a lab technique that was developed when it was observed that embryos with a thin zona pellucida had a higher rate of implantation during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Women over the age of 35 are usually advised to try assisted embryo hatching to improve implantation success.
Performed in conjunction with an IVF cycle and prior to embryo transfer, an embryologist thins the zona pellucida by creating a small hole in the outer lining using micromanipulation techniques under a microscope during the Day 4 of embryo development. Assisted hatching is a part of our PGD process; therefore patients who opt for PGD automatically receive this additional service.