Assisted hatching is a medical procedure used in the In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). This procedure is carried out to increase the chances of embryo transplantation into a woman’s uterine. Women, who have been unsuccessful getting pregnant with the standard IVF procedure, can opt for the assisted hatching procedure.
In this procedure an opening is, created so that embryonic cells can hatch out. Hatching of an embryo is required, to make pregnancy possible. The only hatched embryo can be, attached to the womb. Hatching of an embryo is made from the outer layer of the ovum. This thick transparent membrane surrounding the ovum before implantation, is known as, Zona pellucidia. Diluting or thinning this outer layer helps the embryo to hatch properly, which enhances the chance of pregnancy.
Assisting Hatching procedure
Before transferring the embryo back to the womb, a small gap is, created in the outer layer of the embryo or it is, thinned. Assisted hatching procedure is, performed in the laboratory and a laser, acid, or mechanical methods are, used for the thinning of an embryo. The three steps of assisted hatching are:
Candidates for Assisted Hatching
- On the third day of an embryo development, the gynaecologist may use a diluted acid to make an embryo thin or create a hole by making a gap in the outer layer of an embryo.
- After the embryo is, thinned by using a diluted acid, it is cleaned to reduce the risk of further damage.
- The assisted hatching procedure makes the outer protective layer of the embryo thin. Therefore, antibiotics are given to the woman undergoing an assisted hatching procedure to minimise the risk of an infection.
The assisted hatching procedure
is not for everyone. Only women who are not able to hatch embryo naturally are considered suitable for this procedure. Assisted hatching is for:
Risks of Assisted Hatching
- Females over the age of 35
- Females with three or more fail embryo transfers
- Females whose embryo has an excessive thick outer layer
- Females with high baseline FSH level
There are no such risks and complications associated with assisted hatching. This scientific procedure is performed in the laboratory, therefore, is less likely to create any risk for the pregnant women
. The weak and diluted acid is, used for the thinning of the outer layer of an embryo. The embryo itself remains protected and unharmed. Only 1% of the embryo’s are at risk of being damaged. However, the woman undergoing the procedure of assisted hacking is advised to take antibiotics for a few days to minimise the risk of an infection.