Laser Assisted Hatching

Laser Assisted hatching may improve the implantation of embryos into a woman’s uterine lining. This laboratory technique enables the Embryologist to create an opening in the ‘shell’ (zona pellucia) of the embryo through which the embryonic cells can hatch out; implantation and therefore pregnancy cannot occur unless the embryo hatches. Laser assisted hatching may be beneficial in circumstances in which the zona pellucida is thicker and/or harder which is sometimes the case with oocytes collected from women over 37 years, and oocytes collected from women with high levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). There is also evidence to suggest that the process of freezing and thawing oocytes and embryos may cause the zona pellucida to harden, and therefore creating an opening in the zona pellucida of such embryos may assist implantation.
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