Assisted Hatching with Laser

Until shortly before implantation in the uterus, the embryo is surrounded by a protective shell, the zona pellucida. In ordert o implant in the uterine lining, the embryo must hatch out of this protective shell, which usually happens on ist own. However, under certain circumstances, the protective shell may be particularly thick or hardened, making hatching difficult or impossible. Assisted hatching is a technical procedure in which we facilitate the embryo’s hatching from the protective shell. This is generally a harmless procedure for the embryos.

The simplest and safest method is laser hatching, as the area for hatching can be set very specifically as can the size and depth of the break in the shell. The

embryo is placed under a microscope and targeted with the laser beam.
We recommend laser hatching in especially for the transfer of embryos after cryopreservation and thawing, as these embryos may exhibit hardening oft he zona pellucida. In rare cases, assisted hatching may also be indicated in fresh cycles (e.g. in older patients >38 years of age or after repeated unsuccessful IVF or ICSI therapy despite optimal conditions).Studies with laser technology have been convincing so far and show a positive effect (Wan et al. 2014; Ebner et al. 2005).