Assisted Hatching

In a normal conception cycle, the human embryo hatches out of the zona pellucida (the clear cover that surrounds the embryo) about seven days after fertilization occurs. The embryo then implants on the uterine surface and continues to grow. Many infertility specialists believe that embryos may have difficulty hatching in older women and in some women who have undergone IVF cycles without achieving pregnancy. Assisted hatching is a procedure in which a small hole is made in the zona pellucida to help the embryo hatch and implant. This procedure is performed under a special microscope a few hours before the embryo transfer.

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