Laser assisted hatching
What is laser assisted hatching?
Once your embryo(s) are transferred into your uterus the embryo needs to hatch out of its surrounding protective membrane called the zona pellucida, in order to be able to implant into your uterus. This happens when it reaches the blastocyst stage at 5 – 6 days old.
There is evidence to suggest that this hatching process may be a problem for some patients’ embryos, where a thickened or hardened zona may not allow it to occur.
Laser Assisted hatching is a laboratory technique that is offered at Bath Fertility Centre, where a small slit is made in the soft membrane of the embryo shortly before embryo transfer. When the embryo reaches the blastocyst stage, this gap then allows the embryo to emerge (hatch) which may help it implant and establish a pregnancy.
Who is laser assisted hatching suitable for?
Most patients do not need assisted hatching. Studies indicate there may be improved implantation and pregnancy rates if the following applies to you:
- You have failed to conceive following three or more IVF / ICSI cycles
- If the zona pellucida of your embryo(s) appears thicker than normal
Assisted hatching is a delicate technique requiring specialist equipment and skill, so there is an additional charge for this procedure. Please see costs for details.