What is the assisted hatching technique?
Assisted hatching is an in vitro fertilization technique that involves making a small hole in the protective layer of the embryo (called “zona pellucida”) to make it possible to implant it in the uterus.
For the embryo to be implanted in the uterus, it is essential that it hatch out of this layer. Implantation often fails because the embryo is unable to break the zona pellucida on its own and remains trapped inside.
In what cases is assisted hatching used?
- Eggs with a thick zona pellucida.
- When thawed embryos are transferred (this area hardens during freezing).
- When embryos from women older than 37 are used, since it is harder to break the zona pellucida in these embryos.
- Repeated implantation failures over various IVF cycles.
- Slow-developing embryos.
- Highly fragmented embryos.