Laser Assisted Hatching

The laser assisted hatching is an additional lab technique designed to improve the efficiency of assisted reproductive technology procedures such as IVF & ICSI.

Women older than 37 years of age, have a tendency to produce eggs with a harder zonapellucida than younger women. The same applies for women treated with higher doses of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). After fertilisation of the egg, during the cleavage stage of an embryo, zonapellucida hardens. This development is normal and the purpose is to keep the cells in the egg together. The embryos have to “hatch” or break out of the zona in order to embed into the endometrium lining of the uterine cavity. This occurs about 2-3 days after embryo transfer when the embryo is at the blastocyst stage. Naturally this takes place by expanding/contracting of the zona until it distorts, allowing the blastocyst to “hatch”. When sperm and eggs are cultured in IVF laboratory, the zona pellucida hardens at much faster rate than natural, making it more difficult for the embryo to implant. Prior to implantation, the embryo has to escape out of its zona pellucida by a process known as hatching. If this process is not completed properly, implantation failure occurs and a pregnancy can not be achieved.

The advent of the laser has allowed the development of precision techniques to manipulate embryos for enhanced fertility. Laser-assisted hatching can turn around a history of failure for embryos to implant themselves in the uterine wall. Assisted hatching is used to help the embryo hatch from its protective outer shell, the zonapellucida, and promote implantation in the uterine wall after embryo transfer.

At GBR Fertility Centre & Hospitals we use the most advanced and cutting edge Laser technology from Hamilton Thorne, USA. Laser-assisted hatching (LAH) with the LYKOS or ZILOS-tkuses a highly focused infrared laser beam to remove the zonapellucida in very precise increments. This increases the chances of better embryo implantation multifold resulting in increased IVF success.


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