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Assisted Hatching

A procedure used to assist the
natural process of hatching
in a developing embryo

Introduction to Assisted Hatching

In order for an embryo to implant onto the lining of the uterus it must ‘hatch’ out of its shell called the Zona Pellucida.  Assisted Hatching has been shown to improve the pregnancy rate in certain categories of patients.

IVF London has adopted a policy to carry out this procedure when it is considered to be in the patient’s best interests. Should we deem it necessary to perform Assisted Hatching procedure on your embryos, this will be discussed with you at length before we proceed.

Why to Undergo Assisted Hatching Treatment?

This technique has been reported to be advantageous for selected categories of patients, such as those of advanced maternal age, those who have had repeated failed cycles, raised FSH or reduced ovarian reserve. There is evidence to suggest that frozen embryos develop a hardened shell during the freeze/thaw process and hence Assisted Hatching improves their chances to implant.

How Does the Assisted Hatching Procedure Work?

Assisted Hatching is a procedure which involves a hole being made in the shell of the developing embryo to aid the natural process of hatching. This is usually performed on Day 3 following egg collection, usually with the aid of a very precise laser beam. In cases where embryo transfer is carried out at the blastocyst stage, assisted hatching will be performed on day 3 followed by extended culture whereby the blastocyst is continually monitored to ensure correct development. Blastocysts can also undergo Assisted Hatching when they are thawed for a frozen embryo transfer if assisted hatching has not been performed prior to freezing.

What Are the Risks to Assisted Hatching Treatment?

During the early stages of embryo development the shell (zona pellucida) serves as a protective barrier against foreign bodies. With Assisted Hatching it is necessary to breach this shell and we must therefore point out that there is an extremely small risk attached to this procedure, i.e. the developing embryo may be exposed to harmful chemicals and micro-organisms, further embryonic development may be affected, or the cells within the embryo may be expelled through the hole, thereby causing the embryo to perish. The process of laser hatching has a very small risk of cell damage due to localised heat being applied to facilitate the opening in the zona pellucida. There is also an additional but very small risk (2%) that this procedure could entrap the embryo during the hatching process causing monozygotic (identical) twins.

Disclaimer to HFEA

The above procedure is considered to be a treatment add-on by the HFEA. To read more on treatment add on please click here.

Why Choose Us?

Here are some facts about your fertility journey with us that we’d like to share with you:

Every evaluation and treatment plan is uniquely tailored to meet your individual needs

You will have access to leading professionals, with over 35 years combined expertise, providing you with confidence and reassurance in your fertility diagnosis and subsequent treatment

Our multidisciplinary team includes specialists in fertility, urology, nutrition, counselling, genetics, endocrinology, haematology and weight management to provide a comprehensive range of support as and when you need it

We will work with you closely to understand your individual circumstances, identify any problems and agree with you, the best course of action to help make your dream a reality

We will always be honest and open about your chances of success with treatment.

Your comfort and care is always our top priority

Our focus remains entirely on you as an individual, your unique needs and your wellbeing

All investigations and treatments are provided within our new state-of-the-art clinic based in Elstree which offers a spacious environment with comfortable surroundings, to enhance your care and experience. We offer investigations and scans at our satellite locations too.

Our friendly consultant-led team is here to support you at every step throughout your fertility journey

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