Aspire HFI Blog

Assisted Embryo Hatching

Posted on July 5th, 2012

At our Houston fertility center, Houston Fertility Institute, we understand how heartbreaking infertility can be. We are dedicated to helping each and every infertile couple achieve their dream of parenthood. Because of the sensitive nature of infertility, we strive to treat patients with the care and compassion they deserve while providing the most advanced, state-of-the-art solutions to their fertility issues. We offer a wide range of services at each of our eight fertility center locations, including fertility testing, egg donation, intrauterine insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), and assisted embryo hatching. We also specialize in solutions for male fertility issues, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Infertility can be incredibly frustrating, especially when treatments fail. Having to undergo IVF is time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining. Patients who have undergone multiple rounds of IVF may begin to feel like hope is lost. Through assisted embryo hatching, patients who are 37 years or older, who have elevated FSH levels, who have undergone multiple embryo transfers without achieving a pregnancy, or who have embryos that exhibit thick zona pellucida now have reason to hope.

What Is Assisted Hatching?

The protective outer membrane that surrounds an embryo is called the zona pellucida. Simply stated, assisted embryo hatching refers to a technique used during conventional IVF to alter the zona pellucida. This is done to increase the chance of an embryo shedding its shell, thereby increasing the chance of implantation occurring.

Assisted Embryo Hatching

It is thought that a zona pellucida that is too thick may interfere with the normal hatching process. The reasoning is that embryos are unable to break free from the thick jelly coat that makes up the zona pellucida during the blastocyst stage of development, thus preventing implantation from occurring. Age, fertility medications, and other factors may cause the zona pellucida to become thicker and tougher. Assisted embryo hatching is performed through a technique referred to as micromanipulation. During assisted embryo hatching, a hole is made in the zona pellucida of the embryo prior to transfer. This is done to allow the embryo to hatch free from the zona pellucida more easily during the blastocyst phase.

Assisted embryo hatching has improved the success rates in many patients who were of advanced maternal age, who have experienced more than one failed cycle, who had elevated FSH levels at day three of their menstrual cycles, or who had a thick zona pellucida for other reasons.

While assisted embryo hatching has improved the success rate in many infertile couples and helped them achieve the dream of parenthood, it will not work for every patient. Houston IVF patients over the age of 42 may benefit more from egg donation than assisted embryo hatching. Your infertility challenges are unique to you. We will always tailor a treatment plan to your unique issues.

Schedule a Consultation at Houston Fertility Institute Today

To learn more about assisted embryo hatching, please schedule a consultation at Houston Fertility Institute today. Our compassionate and highly skilled fertility specialists would be happy to answer any questions you may have. If you are having difficulty conceiving, please schedule a consultation today.

Built by patients, for patients

Contact us today if you’re ready to take the next step in your fertility journey.