Boosting Fertility With Assisted Hatching
Many couples who cannot conceive naturally turn to fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). However, sometimes IVF can be challenging for the healthcare provider recommends some couples and an added step. This extra step is called assisted hatching, where a small crack or hole is made in the embryo’s outer layer. Cracking the egg improves pregnancy outcomes and IVF success.
IVF and the hatching phenomenon
IVF is the process that takes place in the lab where the woman’s eggs are fertilized with sperm. The fertilized eggs are observed for 3-6 days as these become embryos with an outer protective shell. Once developed into an embryo, the best one is chosen to implant inside the woman’s uterus. During the transition, the embryos naturally crack the outer shell. Sometimes, the doctor will create a small crack or hole in the embryo’s outer shell before implantation.
The technique of performing assisted hatching
To perform assisted hatching on the outer layer, a crack is created so that the layer can be broken easily. Cracking the egg is done in several ways. One way is to use a laser to crack the embryo’s outer shell. Another technique is to use an acid solution known as Tyrode’s solution to dissolve and create a small hole. This extra step will increase the chances of pregnancy.
Although there are different ways to crack the egg, the most popular application is the use of a laser. The laser method has many benefits such as less time-consuming and fewer laser shots. Another advantage is that a shorter amount of time is needed for the embryos to stay in the incubator.
When can assisted hatching improve IVF?
Assisted hatching is not for everyone who undergoes IVF. Doctors reserve this step for a certain group of people. Older couples or who have experienced previous failed IVF are often great candidates. Those who have a poor prognosis of conceiving are also considered for assisted hatching. Cracking the egg also helps embryos that undergo preimplantation genetic testing.
Improve IVF chances
Some couples experience success with the first IVF cycle. However, a fertility specialist may suggest assisted hatching in special cases where IVF keeps failing. Assisted hatching is usually a safe and effective procedure with some potential risks of twin pregnancies. Speak to the doctor about assisted hatching, the various methods, and potential risks.