Assisted hatching is a lab procedure designed to facilitate implantation or attachment of the dividing embryos to the wall of the uterus. For implantation and pregnancy to occur, the embryo must "hatch" out of the zona pellucida, the egg’s outermost shell.
In some patients, usually in older women, failure to establish a pregnancy after IVF may be related to the inability of embryos to hatch out of the zona. On the day of embryo transfer, we create a small opening in the zona pellucida using a micromanipulator to assist the hatching process.
There are several ways to hatch an embryo or blastocyst. Most commonly labs use acid, or a laser to hatch. Albany IVF utilizes a mechanical method called Partial Zonae Dissection (PZD). PZD eliminates the exposure of the embryo to harmful acid or laser radiation.