Assisted hatching through micromanipulation has been shown to increase the implantation rate of replaced day 3 embryos for women who are above age 38 or who have unexplained failure of embryo implantation in a prior IVF cycle as well as for embryos that are being thawed for a frozen embryo transfer cycle. Certain patients may significantly benefit from assisted hatching based on age and infertility diagnosis. Even if sperm – egg interaction and embryonic development proceed normally, attachment of the pre-embryo to the uterus must still occur.
A layer covering the oocyte called the zona pellucida performs many crucial functions in the process of fertilization and development. However, in order for the embryo to implant into the uterine wall, it must hatch out from its zona pellucida with the help of substances produced by the embryo.
A number of findings suggest that human IVF pre-embryos sometimes lack the ability to thin and hatch through their zona pellucida. The pre-embryo is held by a micropipette while a specialized laser beam is utilized to create a small opening in the zona pellucida.