Assisted hatching is a laboratory technique that may improve IVF success rates
The Fertility Center of Las Vegas is home to experts who offer the latest fertility treatments. One of the most effective options is in vitro fertilization (IVF). While this treatment tends to produce high success rates on its own, assisted hatching can make it even more successful. The team at our Las Vegas fertility center will work with you to determine whether this IVF add-on service could be a good option for you.
A quick review of IVF fertilization
When the sperm fertilizes an egg, it becomes an embryo. The embryo develops an outer shell made of proteins, which is known as the zona pellucida. For the embryo to attach to the uterus, it must break through the zona pellucida. In some cases, the shell is too thick and the embryo is unable to break through, or hatch. This problem results in IVF cycle failure.
If a patient has had more than two failed IVF cycles, the team at our Las Vegas fertility center may recommend IVF with assisted hatching. This technique helps the embryo to break out of its shell and implant in the uterine lining.
Research has shown that this technique can be beneficial for women over the age of 35. Additionally, it can help with poor embryo quality and embryos with a thickened zona pellucida as well as women who have elevated Day 3 levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
How does assisted hatching work?
To perform this laboratory procedure, an embryologist forms an opening in the zona pellucida that surrounds each IVF embryo. They do so by creating a tiny hole in the shell while looking at the embryo through a microscope. There are two techniques to achieve assisted hatching.
- Embryologists can make a hole using a small amount of acidic material that breaks down the zona pellucida.
- They can also use a fine needle to puncture the zona pellucida.
After performing the procedure, the embryologist returns the embryos to the incubator before getting one ready for the embryo transfer. The “hatched” embryo should have an easier time of implanting in the uterus during the implantation window.
There is no additional charge for assisted hatching at our Las Vegas fertility center. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to learn more about IVF or this laboratory technique, contact us.