Embryo hatching involves a spontaneous rupture of the zona pellucida (ZP). Once in the uterus, the blastocysts must get out of the ZP to allow interaction between trophectoderm and endometrial cells so that implantation can occur. The loss of the ZP in the uterus is the result of embryonic and uterine events. Expansion and ZP thinning occurs in mammalian blastocysts prior to hatching.
What is Assisted Hatching IVF?
- Failure of implantation after IVF may result from the inability of the blastocyst to hatch out of the ZP.
- Artificial disruption of the ZP by micromanipulation techniques to enhance the ability of embryo to hatch is known as assisted hatching (AH) and has been proposed as a method for improving the success of IVF.
- Assisted hatching can be performed by Partial Zona Drilling , Zona Pellucida Thinning and Zona Pellucida Removal.
Laser assisted Hatching blastocyst: It is a widely used method. This technique involves the creation of a precise gap in the zona pellucida of selected embryos using a 1.48 micron infrared diode laser. Laser is ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation’. Laser is a form of focused ‘light energy’. Laser is used in ART in : Assisted Hatching of Embryos and Embryo biposy for PGD & PGS.
Indications for LAH
Women over 35 years old
Women who have failed 1 or more IVF cycles
Women using frozen/thawed embryos, which may have hardened zona pellucida
Women with an elevated baseline level of FSH
Women with poor prognosis embryos, including conditions such as a thick zona pellucida, slow cell division rate, or high cell fragmentation
Advantages of Assisted Embryo Hatching
Assisted hatching has improved embryo implantation rates and clinical pregnancy rates in a selected group of patients undergoing IVF. Fewer embryos required for transfer with better embryo selection.
Advantages of Laser-Assisted Hatching
A laser has been shown to be superior to other forms of assisted hatching (chemical and manual) thanks to several advantages:
- Minimal handling of the embryo.
- Fast and exact control over drilling of the shell opening.
- It is gentle and safe, with no negative effects on the embryo.
- Wide availability to patients, and offered under clinical guidance depending on your particular circumstances.