Fertility Treatments & Services Assisted Hatching (AH) with IVF

Assisted Hatching (AH) is another micromanipulation technique involving the opening or thinning of the shell of the egg to facilitate embryo hatching and subsequent implantation of the embryo during the in vitro fertilization process, resulting in higher pregnancy rates.

One of the most common obstacles to healthy pregnancy takes place just after an egg is fertilized. Once the egg begins its normal cellular division, it becomes a zygote and outgrows its tiny environment at an exponential rate. This pressure allows the newly forming cells to burst out of the original egg’s outer wall, which is made of a layer of proteins called the zona pellucida. If the new embryo is unable to break out, the embryo will not be able to attach to the walls of the uterus, thus failing to achieve pregnancy. The zona pellucida can be thicker than necessary in some cases. The thicker the zona, the more difficulty your embryo will have breaking out of it.

Our team of embryologists at CHA Fertility Center is highly trained and experienced in assisted hatching, raising your chances of the embryo breaking out of the wall in order to attach itself to the uterine lining. Once an unfertilized egg is retrieved from a woman’s ovary, it is fertilized and observed for healthy cellular division. During this phase, our specialists can go in microscopically and help the newly fertilized embryo along.

By focusing on a small section of the zona pellucida, our embryologist thins the shell wall, allowing the embryo to break free where it may not have been able otherwise. Getting past this crucial stage allows the embryo to move forward in its gestation process outside the womb until viability is confirmed.

This procedure is performed in conjunction with the IVF process to ensure the greatest possible chance of pregnancy. Patients who have had IVF failures in the past may benefit dramatically from this procedure, as well as patients with maternal age over 35, especially those over 38. Clinical trials at New York-Cornell Medical College showed marked increase in final implantation within this group. The risk of damaging the embryo during this process remains low, and—along with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)—presents an even greater chance for pregnancy.

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