The Assisted Hatching Procedure
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Assisted hatching is used to assist the implantation process during IVF. The technique is performed three days post-fertilization, after the embryo has had a few days to develop.
During assisted hatching, the zona pellucida, which coats the embryo, is thinned or ruptured. Sometimes, the outer layer of the zona pellucida is dissolved with an acidic mixture. Alternately, a laser or fine needle may be used to break open the outer layer of the zona pellucida.
Assisted hatching is done with a micromanipulation technique requiring the use of microscopic tools, robotic assistance, and a microscope to view the minuscule embryo.
If you use IVF with assisted hatching, the embryo will be transferred into your uterus a day after hatching. To reduce the risk of complications, steroids and antibiotics may be administered, which can sometimes cause side effects.