The eggs - as well as the embryo - is surrounded and protected by a shell, the zona pellucida. Shortly before the embryo nests in the uterine mucosa, the zona pellucida opens - with the help of special enzymes and with the pressure of the embryo's growth - and the embryo "hatches".
Some studies indicate that the in-vitro culture of the embryo - and the cryopreservation - can lead to hardening of the zona pellucida and so complicate the "hatching" or prevent its occurrence.
A theory exists that by thinning or opening of the zona pellucida, the hatching of the embryo would be eased. Nowadays the safest method for partially thinning the zona pellucida is the laser technique. If required, this can be carried out in the in the fertilty clinic of your choice in a routine procedure.
Assisted hatching should be offered:
- to patients with multiple unsuccessful IVF or ICSI attempts, in spite of them having "good embryos"
- to patients over 38 years of age
- if embryos have a thickened zona pellucida, or if embryos that developed from cryopreservedfertilized egg cells are transferred.
Your doctor at the VivaNeo fertility clinic will discuss all the advantages and disadvantages of this procedure under your individual circumstances.