What is Laser Assisted Hatching?
The human embryo is surrounded by a shell called the zona pellucida and it has to come out of that shell for the implantation into the uterus. Laser Assisted hatching is an IVF lab procedure in which the zona pellucida (outer shell) of the embryo is gently thinned with a laser to increase the chances of implantation.
Why do we need Laser Assisted Hatching?
Normally, embryo hatching is done naturally by zona lysis, but in some cases the trophectoderm may not be able to release the lysing agents and hence the embryo may not come out of the shell, and it may result into implantation failure.
How is Laser Assisted Hatching done?
Laser assisted hatching is a lab procedure and is usually done on day 3 of embryo development (cleavage stage embryos) though it can be done on blastocysts as well. In this technique a special laser is used to make an artificial hole in the zona pellucida with 2-3 shots of approx. 5-10micro meter, so that the embryo can hatch out of the shell and have the better chances of implantation into the uterus.
In what conditions is Laser Assisted Hatching indicated?
Laser Assisted hatching is done in patients with advanced maternal age, thick zona Pellucida, recurrent implantation failure, or unexplained infertility.