Laser Assisted Hatching

Once an egg is fertilized, cell division begins. In the beginning of development, the embryo is surrounded by zona pellucida protein. A successful pregnancy means the embryo must break through this layer of zona pellucida (called hatching) for implantation inside uterine endometrial lining. In some cases, hatching is difficult due to a thick zona pellucida. Fertility specialists slowly realized that having a thinner zona pellucida increases chance of implantation. Therefore, they began microscopically using laser to break holes in the zona pellucida. Normally the best time for this procedure is on the 4th day of embryo development, when there are 6 to 8 cells. Laser assisted hatching is a new laboratory technique that uses laser to make a gap in the shell or “zona” of the embryo to increase implantation rate. 

At Star International Fertility Center, we use a completely computerized and automatic RI embryo laser system for laser assisted hatching.  The most accurate location to weaken a part of zona pellucida therefore can be found and the embryo remains unharmed. 

Who should be treated with laser assisted hatching? 

According to American Society for Reproductive Medicine, indications of laser assisted hatching include the following: 

  1. Advanced maternal age (>38 year old) 
  2. Previous in vitro fertilization failure- two times or greater 
  3. Poor Embryo quality 
  4. Patients who plan to do PGS (Pre-implantation Genetic Screening)
  5. Patients who plan to do PGD (Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis)