In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) can be an expensive and daunting process to undergo. Going through multiple cycles may be frustrating. Many times failed cycles of In Vitro Fertilization are caused by the embryo failing to attach itself to the uterine walls. Some procedures help embryos attach to the uterine wall, increasing the success rate of IVF.
In cases when more than two cycles of In Vitro Fertilization has failed, a technique known as assisted hatching may be used to help the embryo attach to the uterus. When eggs are fertilized, the embryo develops an outer shell made of proteins known as the zona pellucida. In order for the embryo to attach the uterus, it has to break through the zona pellucida. In some cases, the shell is too thick and the embryo is unable to hatch, resulting in an unsuccessful cycle.
Assisted hatching allows the embryo an easier way to break through the shell through a hole that is made in the zona pellucida. A specialist will use micromanipulation under a microscope to create a small hole in the zona pellucida. This can be done with a small amount of acidic material that breaks down the outer layers or with a fine needle used to puncture the zona pellucida. The embryo is rinsed of the acidic material and returned in the incubator for a few hours then transferred into the uterus.
Assisted hatching can be beneficial for women who are over the age of 35 or have had previous failed IVF cycles. It could also be used in the case of poor embryo quality or with a thickened zona pellucida. Assisted hatching can be beneficial for women who have an elevated follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level on day three of their menstrual cycle.
At The Fertility Center of Las Vegas, there is no additional charge for assisted hatching. For more information or to get started on your journey to parenthood, contact The Fertility Center of Las Vegas today.