Our doctors offer the assisted hatching lab technique to intended parents who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) in Los Angeles. We may recommend this method if you've had previous unsuccessful IVF treatments to increase the chance of successful implantation.
Candidates for assisted hatching
Couples and individuals who decide to combine the assisted hatching technique with their IVF treatment cycle tend to see higher success rates than those who don't. Your doctor will recommend AH if you are:
- A woman over the age of 37
- A woman who has experienced two or more unsuccessful IVF treatment cycles
- A woman who has produced viable embryos which fail to implant on the uterine wall
- A woman who experiences increased levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which academics consider to produce thicker zona pellucida shells
Advantages of assisted hatching with IVF
This technique requires fewer embryos per cycle as it increases the ability to implant successfully along the uterine wall. Assisted hatching also provides you with a surplus of embryos to freeze, available for use at a later time.
The assisted hatching procedure
On day four of the egg development (after the lab conducts fertilization), the embryo is contained in a shell of proteins known as the zona pellucida.
For an embryo to properly implant itself into your uterine lining, it must break through the zona pellucida. If the shell is too thick, some embryos can struggle to break through.
This relatively new technique involves thinning or puncturing an embryo's outer shell so that it can attach to the uterine wall more easily.
During the procedure, your embryologists hold the embryo tightly under a microscope, followed by a mild acid solution applied to create a tiny hole in the shell. After the procedure, the embryo is washed and placed back into an incubator. Your doctor then uses this embryo for implantation into the uterus.