Assisted Hatching (AH) is an ancillary procedure used in conjunction with the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process wherein embryos are helped to erupt from the shell of the egg Assisted Hatching helps improve IVF pregnancy success rates in patients having a poor prognosis.
After an egg is fertilized in vitro, its cells begin to divide with a resulting embryo developing in a layer of protective proteins (the zona pellicuda). The embryo must hatch out of these protein layers to implant into the uterine lining and attach to the wall of the uterus. In some cases, embryos have difficulty shedding the zona pellicuda and this hinders implantation in the uterine lining.
The zona pellucida encases an embryo after conception until it attaches to the uterine wall, when pregnancy begins. If the embryo is unable to implant, it will fail to grow and eventually die.
According to fertility specialist, Dr. Laurence A. Jacobs, embryos freed of the zona pellucida have a higher rate of implantation during IVF. With Assisted Hatching, a small hole is created in the zona pellucida on approximately the fourth day of embryo development. At the time of the performance of Assisted Hatching, embryos contain six to eight cells (IVF Blastocyst Transfer Stage).
Assisted Hatching Candidates
Dr. Jacobs recommends Assisted Hatching in conjunction with IVF for:
- Women over the age of 30
- Women who have experience two failed IVF cycles
- Women who have produced poor quality embryos
- Women having high FSH levels
- Women having a distinct thickening of the zona pellucida
Assisted Hatching is recommended for couples receiving a poor prognosis for achieving pregnancy through IVF because their embryos lack sufficient capacity to complete the hatching process.
More Helpful Resources About Assisted Hatching
Fertility Centers of Illinois is comprised of 10 fertility clinic locations and 2 IVF state-of-the-art surgical and laboratory centers located throughout the Chicagoland area. After you consult with the Doctor, you can choose from all 10 office locations for ultrasound monitoring and blood testing.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Laurence Jacobs by clicking the icon below to schedule your appointment online – or – call 888.325.7389.