Assisted hatching (from English ‘to hatch from eggs, to be born’) technique, allowing you in some cases to increase the chances of embryo implantation and pregnancy as a result of IVF.
Normally the embryo after the fertilization by sperm, is surrounded by a dense double layer shell 15-micron thick, which on the one hand prevents the penetration of other spermatozoons to the other already fertilized embryo, on the other hand, being smoother, eases the advancement of the embryo at the blastocysts stage through the fallopian tube into the uterus, where on the 6 -7th day the embryo’s «hatching» and its fixation in the uterus cavity, the endometrium, take place.
With age this shell or ‘zona pellucida’ thickens in the embryo, which disrupts the process of its implantation into the endometrium, which may be one reason for reducing the pregnancy likelihood for women after 40-45 to 5-7%. Therefore, in conducting vitro fertilization it is necessary to make the thickened zona pellucida thinner. To do this, embryologists apply the hatching method. Hatching can be mechanical — an embryologist makes several punctures in this shell of the embryo with a microinstrument. There can also be chemical hatching, when the shell is made thinner by means of acid solution and biological, when a special 0.5% enzyme solution pronase dissolves the shell.
A precise and controlled hatching technique is now hatching with a special laser gun. A laser beam gradually evaporates and makes the zona pellucida thinner, facilitating «hatching» of the embryo in the uterus and increasing the implantation chances. The process of the laser hatching is controlled by an embryologist and a computer program that allows you to achieve high efficiency and safety procedures for the embryo.