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Auxiliary hatching is the procedure of applying artificial embryonic sheaths to help release it from the outer shell (zona pellucida) when sealed.

At the beginning of its development, a human egg is surrounded by a protective membrane (zona pellucida), similar to the shell. The sperm penetrate the zona pellucida inside and fertilize the egg. As the embryo develops, the shell securely protects it from external influences.

The density of the egg may change due to various factors, which may prevent the embryo from freeing itself from the zona pellucida - it will not be able to attach to the uterine cavity accordingly.

The reasons for the change in the density of zona pellucida:

  • age factor (probable endocrine changes in age-related women);
  • culturing embryos outside the woman's body (a deficiency in the medium used to cultivate certain substances);
  • cryopreservation of embryos.

The auxiliary hatching procedure involves a micro-intervention in which the embryologist artificially cuts through the membrane, thereby helping the embryo exit for implantation into the uterine wall. It is performed at the bottom of the optimal state of the endometrium for attachment of the embryo - implantation window.

Indications for auxiliary hatching:

  • the patient's age is over 38 years;
  • previous unsuccessful attempts to attach the embryo;
  • embryos with poor quality;
  • high levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH);
  • embryo transfer after cryopreservation;
  • smoking.

Methods of auxiliary (laser) hatching:

  • chemical - by means of acid solution; is currently not used in reproductive medicine because of its proven toxic effect on embryos;
  • mechanical - with the help of a microneedle - also practically not used because of the risk of damage to cell blastomers;
  • laser hatching - influence on the shell by infrared radiation.
An embryo before laser hatching
An embryo after laser hatching

The Medical Center uses laser technique because it is the safest for the embryo. We have purchased a latest-generation laser designed to perform these procedures.

The laser method has several advantages, including a more accurate, less traumatic short-term effect on the membrane, which ensures a short stay of the embryo dish outside the incubator. The technique does not have any negative effect on the embryo and fetal development, as well as on the baby's health after birth.