Role of Assisted Hatching in IVFby Shivani Sachdev Founder & Director
IVF involves a lot of associated processes that increase the success rate of the IVF treatment. Assisted Hatching is a supporting technique that is used in combination with IVF treatment when there are previous IVF failures. Assisted Hatching is helpful to hatch embryos by physical, radiation, or chemical means to soften the zona pellucida (shell of the embryo) for implantation.
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Process of Embryo Hatching
The egg is fertilized by the sperm to create an embryo. The egg has an outer protein shell that is called, zona pellucida that plays an important role throughout the process.
In natural hatching, just after fertilization with one sperm, the zona pellucida instantly becomes harden to prevent more sperms to penetrate into the egg. This stage of the fertilized egg is known as Zygote. After 1-2 days, Zygote travels to the fallopian tube and grows into the Blastocyst stage. In this stage, the zona pellucida expands and starts depleting. After 4-5 days of fertilization, the zona pellucida breaks and the embryo appears. This breakdown of zona pellucida is called embryo hatching. Now, the embryo implants itself into the endometrium and settles pregnancy.
But in the IVF process, fertilization is done on a dish in the lab. Transferring the embryo to the uterus does not confirm the pregnancy until the embryo is not implanted in the endometrium. If zona pellucida is hard to deplete and break, there is a need for assisted hatching to soften and crack the shell.
Types of Assisted Hatching
In Assisted Hatching, the target is to make a small crack or opening on the zona pellucida (outer shell of the embryo). This opening can be made using the following methods.
· Mechanical Hatching: In this process, two small slits in the vicinity are applied to the outer shell of the embryo using a microneedle. Then, the spot between two slits is gently rubbed until it punctures.
· Mechanical Expansion: In this process, hydrostatic pressure is applied just under the zona pellucida to expand it. It replicates the natural expansion of the shell and finally slits the shell.
· Chemical Hatching: In this process, a tiny amount of Tyrode’s acid solution is rubbed on the shell to make an opening on it.
· Laser-Assisted Hatching: In this process, a strong laser beam is focused on the shell, where the opening is required. This is the most effective and successful way among all as it provides an opportunity to regulate the size of the opening on the shell.
Candidates for Assisted Hatching
Dr. Shivani Sachdev Gour – the best female fertility doctor in Delhi explains that assisted hatching is not suggested to all couples going through IVF as it involves some risks of embryo damage. It is only recommended in the following specific cases.
· The patient is aged above 37 years.
· Poor quality of the embryo.
· Previous unsuccessful IVF cycles.
· Early production of FSH in the cycle.
As various interference of needles, laser, or chemical is involved in this process; some risks are associated with it. It may damage the embryo or may lead to pregnancy with monozygotic twins.
Created on Jul 24th 2021 05:22. Viewed 112 times.