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The early embryo consists of a ball of cells surrounded by a protective outer shell called the zona pellucida. In order to implant into the lining of the uterus the embryo needs to break out of this shell by a process called “hatching”. It has been suggested in some cases that failure to reach pregnancy may be caused by the embryo being unable to break out of the zona pellucida to complete this process.
The technique of assisted hatching is recommended for :
Patients of advanced maternal age
Patients with elevated FSH
Patients with history of repeated IVF failure
Patients having treatment using frozen eggs.
Assisted hatching by applying mechanical, chemical or laser techniques aims to facilitate the process by creating a small hole in the zona pellucida on day 3, by which, a few days later, the subsequent blastocyst will be able to hatch out of the shell.