Assisted hatching is a procedure that helps embryos to “hatch,” in efforts to increase the likelihood for implantation.
The technique involves making a small opening in the “shell” that surrounds the embryo (called the zona pellucida) with a laser, which allows the embryo to escape from its shell more easily. Assisted hatching is performed immediately before embryo transfer. It is not recommended for all patients, but only for those in whom there is evidence it can increase the chance for IVF success, including women in their late reproductive years (38 years and older) and those having a previous failed IVF cycle. It also is required when frozen embryos are transferred.