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Assisted Embryo Hatching in Los Angeles


As an expert in fertility treatments, Dr. Saadat can help patients find the right treatment to help them create a family. One of the more popular and effective fertility treatments Dr. Saadat offers is in vitro fertilization (IVF). While IVF is highly effective, more specialized procedures sometimes need to be combined with the IVF treatment.

One of those specialized techniques is assisted embryo hatching. For an embryo to successfully implant into the uterine wall, it must first “hatch” out of its outer membrane (known as the zona pellucida). Assisted hatching with IVF creates a small opening in the zona pellucida, which aids in the hatching process and increases the odds of successful implantation and pregnancy.

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Who Can Benefit From Assisted Embryo Hatching?

Women Over 37

The eggs produced by women over 37 years old tend to have a harder time hatching than younger eggs. Assisted embryo hatching allows these eggs, once fertilized, to more easily break through the outer membrane shell. This allows older women to increase their odds of successful embryo implantation.

IVF Embryos With Thickened Zona Pellucida

Some embryos develop a thick zona pellucida, which is a membrane that surrounds the new embryo. This membrane can protect the embryo, but if it’s too thick, it can prevent it from growing and hatching. Assisted embryo hatching can correct this issue and permit the growth of embryos with thickened zonae for patients who experience this in a prior or current IVF cycle.

Women With Multiple Failed IVF Cycles

Assisted embryo hatching can be beneficial for patients who have not achieved a successful pregnancy after multiple IVF cycles. Dr. Saadat recommends assisted embryo hatching for most patients undergoing IVF to increase the chance of conception and pregnancy.

Assisted Hatching Procedure

Assisted Hatching is performed on day three after egg retrieval (ER), when the embryo is about eight cells. An acidic solution is loaded into a hatching pipette. With a micromanipulation microscope, this solution etches a small opening in the zona pellucida (the outer membrane of the fertilized egg). This opening aids in the hatching process of the embryo, and is therefore called “assisted hatching.” All embryos must hatch prior to implanting in the uterine wall. The assisted embryos are then transferred to the patient’s uterus in a normal Embryo Transfer.

How Is IVF With Assisted Embryo Hatching Done?

Sperm and Egg Collection

Sperm and eggs are collected from the intended parents or donors, and viable embryos are created in our lab. This is a standard part of the IVF process.

Opening the Zona Pellucida Membrane

Assisted hatching is performed on the third day after egg retrieval when the embryo is about eight cells. An acidic solution is loaded into a hatching pipette. With a micromanipulation microscope, this solution is used to etch a small opening in the zona pellucida (the fertilized egg’s outer membrane). This opening aids the hatching process of the embryo, allowing further growth to occur.

Embryo Transfer

Just as with a traditional IVF procedure, the viable embryo is implanted into the uterus via a catheter. By ensuring the embryo has already hatched, this process increases the odds of successful implantation and pregnancy. 

The use of assisted embryo hatching can slightly modify the timing of implantation, so we will be sure to take that into account when scheduling your appointments.

Frequently Asked Questions About Assisted Hatching With IVF

How successful are assisted embryo hatching treatments?

Assisted embryo hatching can increase the odds of successful embryo implantation in the uterus with an IVF procedure. The degree of increased success can vary depending on the type of infertility being treated.

Can assisted embryo hatching be used with other fertility options?

Assisted embryo hatching may be combined with some of the following:

How do I know if I need assisted embryo hatching treatments?

Dr. Saadat recommends assisted embryo hatching for most of his IVF patients. He may also suggest it to treat specific infertility conditions that he can diagnose. If you believe assisted embryo hatching may benefit you (due to previously diagnosed medical conditions or family history), be sure to mention that to Dr. Saadat while planning your IVF procedure.

How long after embryo hatching will the implantation occur?

The assisted embryo hatching procedure is performed three days after the eggs have been harvested. Under most circumstances, the viable embryo will be inserted into the uterus two days after being created by the procedure. Implantation can occur at that time or within a couple of days after the insertion.

What should I do if assisted embryo hatching doesn’t help?

Fertility treatments have become more advanced in recent years, and Dr. Saadat has been at the forefront of innovations in the field and can help find the right treatment for you. Depending on the nature of your circumstances, Dr. Saadat may suggest a series of fertility tests to identify the specific issue you are struggling with. He may also suggest that you try a few more times. As with any IVF procedure, there is no guarantee of a viable result after only a single attempt, but the odds increase over multiple tries.

How much does assisted embryo hatching cost?

Assisted embryo hatching costs will vary depending on the number of cycles you undergo before achieving a viable pregnancy. For other factors that can affect the price of your fertility treatment, see our page on the price of IVF.

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