Assisted Hatching

Assisted Hatching, introduced in the 1990's, is a technique used to improve the implantation rate and the success rate of IVF. The procedure involves thinning or making a small hole in the zona pellucida (a protective layer) that surrounds the embryo. Assisted hatching is a very delicate procedure that is difficult to perform and requires immense skill. It is performed using micromanipulation techniques, under a microscope, during the fourth day of embryo development.

Who would need assisted hatching?

The procedure is typically recommended for:

  • women over the age of 37
  • women with elevated FSH on day 3 of their menstrual cycle
  • couples who have experienced failed IVF cycles
  • couples whose embryos have a particularly thick zona pellicuda