An Embryo has an outer layer or shell called the Zona Pellucida. Upon reaching the uterine cavity, it undergoes a process of hatching wherein the embryo breaks out of its shell in order to implant itself into the Endometrium (lining of the uterus) which leads to a pregnancy.
Some Embryos may have a harder than normal shell or they may lack the energy needed to break out and complete the hatching process. Such embryos will need Assisted Hatching in order to implant in the Endometrium. This problem is common in laboratory-cultured embryos and frozen-thawed embryos and in embryos of older women and can be overcome with LAH (Laser-assisted Hatching).
What is Laser-Assisted Hatching (LAH)?
Assisted hatching is, as its name implies, refers to assisting the embryo or the blastocyst to break out of the shell, in our IVF laboratory. It is done with the help of a special laser fitted to the microscope and the micro-manipulator used to handle the embryo.
The hatching process is performed for each embryo individually. The laser beam will dissolve a very small part of the embryonic shell. The process is performed delicately by a skilled embryologist, to ensure that the heat from the laser is not transferred to the cells of the embryo.
Who is it for?
- Older women
- Two or more failed IVF cycles
- Frozen embryo transfer
- Abnormal Zona pellucida
What are the risks of Laser-Assisted Hatching?
There are two main risks associated with LASER-ASSISTED HATCHING (LAH):
- EMBRYO DAMAGE : If the laser hatching process is performed poorly, an embryo could be blemished or permanently destroyed. Our embryologist is skilled and armed with years of experience in LAH, so rest assured that your embryos are in safe hands.
- INCREASED LIKELIHOOD OF TWINS : There is a school of thought that suggests that assisted hatching can increase the chances of monozygotic twin pregnancy.