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What Is Assisted Hatching?

During the process of IVF or in vitro fertilization, the sperm and egg are united outside of the woman’s uterus making a transfer and implant necessary. In an ideal setting, after the placement of the embryo into the uterus, it should be able to successfully settle into the womb by itself, but that is not always the case.

Because of this, certain techniques are required to achieve this – come in, assisted hatching. As the best-trusted fertility clinic in Davao, let us guide you through how this technique helps couples become parents and help you see if it’s an option that you may need.

Its Role in the IVF Process

After fertilization, the embryos are left alone for observation for a few days, around 2-6, to allow them time to develop as well as to see which ones develop the best. Once the most well-developed ones are selected for transfer to the womb, assisted hatching may be done to help the embryo expand and implant into the uterine wall. It is after successful implantation that the pregnancy begins.

How Assisted Hatching Works

Every embryo has a protective shell of cells called the zona pellucida. As the embryo develops and grows, it is expected to naturally break out of the zona pellucida and attach itself to the uterine wall.
With assisted hatching, the protective shell is “cracked” or thinned a bit to encourage the embryo to expand, break out of the protective shell, and attach itself to the uterine wall. This is done with different means such as by using an acid solution, which is called Tyrode’s solution, to help melt a tiny hole into the shell, or by a laser to slightly thin a tiny area of the shell.
On the day of the procedure, medications and steroids may be prescribed to help further facilitate the implantation of the embryos.

Is Assisted Hatching Necessary for Me?

Although no harmful result has been associated with the process, assisted hatching isn’t necessary for every person going through an IVF procedure. Assisted hatching is generally recommended for those with a history of unsuccessful in vitro fertilization procedures, particularly with the implantation part. It is also worth noting that assisted hatching makes the pregnancy more likely to result in identical twins.

Assisted hatching can also be of particular help to those planning a preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This is because during biopsy, a small amount of tissue is taken from trophectoderm, or the outer area of the embryo, at around the fifth day after fertilization or what is known as the blastocyst stage, and it is easier to do so with a hatching embryo.

It is best to consult with your in vitro fertilization specialists to see whether you will be needing assisted hatching as part of your IVF journey. If you’re looking for specialists to evaluate your case and provide you with fertility treatment options, know that you can always visit the first and best IVF clinic in Davao for a consultation so you can finally begin your IVF journey.