During the first days of their development, embryos are protected by an outer layer of cells called the zona pellucida. In the blastocyst stage, five or six days after fertilisation, the hatching process begins, and the mass of cells contained within the zona pellucida is released and implants in the endometrium.
Assisted hatching is a laboratory technique that we carry out in our assisted fertilisation clinic that favours implantation in cases in which the embryo cannot hatch naturally.
With the help of a special microneedle or a laser we make a cut in the outer membrane of the embryo (known as ‘zona pellucida’) to enable hatching of the blastocyst.
- Excessive thickness of the zona pellucida.
- Previously vitrified embryos, in which the zona pellucida has hardened.
- Previous implementation failures.