The process of IVF
The first step in this process involves hormonal injections to stimulate the ovaries and encourage egg development. When ready, the doctor will retrieve and place the eggs with the sperm in a laboratory dish. The fertilized eggs are then placed under observation for some time. When the time comes, the embryos are then transferred into the woman’s uterus for implantation. In some IVF cases, assisted hatching is performed before transferring for a better outcome.
Breaking out of the shell
An outer layer or shell surrounds developed embryos. This outer layer or shell needs to break in order for implantation to occur. Assisted hatching is a procedure where the doctor helps the embryo hatch from the shell before transferring. This is usually done on the third day of embryo development, where a small crack is created in the shell. With assisted hatching, one hopes that the embryo attaches to the uterine wall, leading to pregnancy.
Ways to create a small crack
There are 2 methods to help create a small crack in the embryo’s outer layer. One way is the use of Tyrode’s solution which melts and creates a small hole in the shell. Another way is the use of a laser to crack the outer layer.
Does it help or hurt IVF?
Assisted hatching helps IVF and improves the chances of clinical pregnancy. The embryo is barely affected by this procedure. The common downside of this process is an increased risk of twin pregnancies. Before going through the process, ask the fertility specialist about the risks and benefits of the procedure.
Who requires assisted hatching?
Assisted hatching is not for every patient going through IVF. Doctors usually recommend assisted hatching for those who had previously failed IVF cycles or who have a poor prognosis. The additional step may also help women over 37 years old to conceive.
Improving IVF with assisted hatching
IVF helps many struggling women to conceive but sometimes the first cycle of IVF is not successful. The success rate of IVF varies on many factors, especially age. When IVF fails, doctors perform assisted hatching to improve the chances of implantation and pregnancy. Speak to a fertility specialist about ways to enhance the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.