The technique of assisted hatching is applied in some cases to help the embryo to hatch from the protective zone that surrounds it and attach to the womb. In the early stages of its development, the embryo is surrounded by a protective zone (zone pellucida).
In the later stages of development the developing embryo should be hatched, otherwise released from this zone, in order for it to implanted in the uterus. Many times this does not take place, since the zone is thick and hard and the fetus does not have enough energy to “break through” it.
The purpose of this technique is to help the fetus “escape” from the protective zone, by creating a small hole on it. This technique requires the use of a microscope and it is usually accomplished by the use of laser beams or an acid solution that is released by a qualified micropippette onto the zone and “melting” it.
This technique is recommended in the following cases:
Like all techniques, the method of assisted hatching also involves risks such as the possible destruction of an embryo. In particular cases, this technique can significantly increase the pregnancy expectation rate, while it is successfully applied in most IVF units.