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Laser Assisted Hatching

Laser-assisted hatching can turn around a history of failure for embryos to implant themselves in the uterine wall. Assisted hatching is used to help the embryo hatch from its protective outer shell, the zona pellucida, and promote implantation in the uterine wall after embryo transfer.

The advent of the laser has allowed the development of precision techniques to manipulate embryos for enhanced fertility. Laser-assisted hatching can turn around a history of failure for embryos to implant themselves in the uterine wall.

Assisted hatching is used to help the embryo hatch from its protective outer shell, the zona pellucida, and promote implantation in the uterine wall after embryo transfer. Laser-assisted hatching (LAH) uses a highly focused infrared laser beam to remove the zona pellucida in very precise increments. Prior to the clinical availability of the lasers, only mechanical or chemical methods could be used for assisted hatching of human embryos in clinical settings. Laser-assisted hatching requires less handling of the embryo than these other assisted hatching methods. Also, laser-assisted hatching is faster than the other methods and, therefore, the embryo spends less time outside the incubator.


Indications for LAH
  • Age : Women over 37 years old
  • Hormonal Status : Women with an elevated baseline level of FSH (follicular stimulating hormone)
  • Embryo Quality : Women with poor prognosis embryos, including conditions such as a thick zona pellucida, slow cell division rate, or high cell fragmentation
  • IVF Attempts : Women who have failed 1 or more IVF cycles
  • Frozen Embryos : Women using frozen/thawed embryos, which may have hardened zona pellucida
Does assisted hatching improve implantation rates?

Assisted hatching can improve the chances of implantation during IVF and is considered an option for patients who are able to achieve good fertilization and embryo cell development, but the zona pellucida is excessively thick and they do not conceive.


How long does it take a blastocyst to hatch?

Human blastocysts should hatch from the shell and begin to implant 1-2 days after day 5 IVF blastocyst transfer. In a natural situation (not IVF), the blastocyst should hatch and implant at the same time - about 6 to 10 days after ovulation

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