About Assisted Hatching
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What is Assisted Hatching?
Assisted hatching is used in the IVF procedure in order to increase the chances of pregnancy. Assisted hatching assists the embryo in hatching from the outer protective layer (called the zona pellucida) so it can implant itself on the womb’s wall. Assisted hatching makes a small hole in the protective layer of the embryo.
How is Assisted Hatching carried out?
Who is a suitable candidate for Assisted Hatching?
- IVF procedure is carried out and the fertilized egg – embryo – is incubated in a laboratory.
- On the third or fourth day the embryo is held under a microscope and an acidic solution, laser or micro tool is applied to the outer layer (zona pellucida).
- The acidic solution or laser/ tool creates a small hole in the outer layer of the embryo.
- After being washed, the embryo is placed back in the incubator and transferred into the woman’s womb.
Assisted hatching is most commonly used with IVF in the following cases:
- women aged over 37
- couples where the woman’s FSH level is high on day three of the menstrual cycle
- couples who have poor quality embryos
- couples who have had one or more failed cycles of IVF.
If only one embryo is available for transfer, assisted hatching is not usually carried out due to risk of damaging the only viable embryo.
What are the chances of success with Assisted Hatching?
IVF procedures using assisted hatching are believed to result in higher pregnancy rates, according to some clinicians. Others disagree, believing assisted hatching does not improve the chances of pregnancy.
According to the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, in 2006 the percentage of cycles of IVF or ICSI that received assisted hatching resulting in a live birth were as follows:
- 26 percent for women aged under 35
- 19 percent for women aged between 35-37
- 17 percent for women aged between 40-42
- 6 percent for women aged between 43-44
Duration of procedure/surgery : One full cycle of IVF, where assisted hatching takes place at the incubation stage, takes about 4 to 4 weeks to complete.
Days admitted : None. IVF and assisted hatching procedures don’t require an overnight stay.
Anesthesia : Egg collection in the IVF cycle may take place under sedation or a general anesthesia.
Risks : - Damage to the embryos.
- Multiple births and increased likelihood of identical twins.
- Negative reaction to fertility drugs.
- Cramps and bleeding following egg collection.
- Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome.
After care : - Take antibiotics, if prescribed, to lessen the chances of infection.
- Ease cramps following egg collection with pain killers.
Learn more about Assisted Hatching