During the IVF procedure, the surrounding shell of the embryo called “zona pellucida” hardens when the embryo is cultured or treated in a laboratory. This happens at the blastocyst stage of embryos which makes it difficult for the embryo to escape the shell.
Laser-assisted hatching makes it easier for the embryo to “hatch” or breakthrough its outer layer or shell(zona pellucida) by creating an opening.
The process involves making a small hole in the zona using a laser. It is an additional IVF lab technique, specially designed to enhance the pregnancy rate.
The laser hatching technique enables implantation into the uterus and increases the chances of pregnancy, especially in the case of older women as the zona during older age tends to be thickened. Besides, for women who have faced IVF failure previously, the laser-assisted hatching technique proves effective.
During the treatment, the zona (shell) of the embryo is opened using the techniques of Micro-manipulation. This facilitates its hatching in the uterus and improves implantation and pregnancy rates.
There is no evidence that laser hatching technique will harm your embryo in any way. The technique is not known to increase the risk of IVF. However, before requesting laser-assisted hatching, consulting a doctor and knowing its functions and benefits is important for you.