What is Laser-Assisted Hatching?
Laser-Assisted Hatching (LAH) is an advanced laboratory technique used in certain cases of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to improve embryo implantation rates. By creating a small opening in the outer shell (zona pellucida) of the embryo using a focused laser, LAH aims to aid the embryo’s hatching process, enhancing its ability to implant into the uterine lining.
LAH is considered for women of advanced maternal age or those with thickened zona pellucida, as it can become more challenging for embryos to naturally break free and attach to the uterus. Additionally, LAH may be recommended for couples with a history of unsuccessful IVF cycles despite good-quality embryos.
The procedure is performed with great precision and expertise in specialized fertility centers. It involves minimal risk to the embryo and does not guarantee success. However, in certain cases, Laser-Assisted Hatching may offer improved outcomes and increased chances of successful pregnancy for couples undergoing IVF. As with any fertility procedure, the suitability of LAH is determined on a case-by-case basis by the fertility specialist.
Laser-Assisted Hatching is typically considered for the following situations:
Advanced Maternal Age: As women age, the zona pellucida of their eggs can become thicker, potentially hindering the embryo’s ability to hatch and implant.
Previous IVF Failures: In cases where a woman has undergone multiple IVF cycles without successful implantation, LAH may be considered to improve the embryo’s chances of attaching to the uterus.
Abnormal Zona Pellucida: Some women may have an abnormally thick or hardened zona pellucida, which can benefit from LAH to facilitate the hatching process.
The procedure is performed shortly before the embryo transfer. The embryologist uses the laser to make a precise and controlled opening in the zona pellucida. The embryos are then allowed to continue their development for a brief period before being transferred into the woman’s uterus.
Laser-Assisted Hatching is a specialized technique that should be performed by experienced embryologists in a well-equipped fertility center. While it can be beneficial in specific cases, it may not be necessary or suitable for every IVF patient. The decision to use LAH is based on the individual’s fertility history, age, and the recommendations of the fertility specialist.
Here are industry experts who can help you
Dr. Richa Singh
Dr. Praveen Panday
Dr. Amar Nath
Working experience: more than 8 years, performed more than 500 ICSI cycles Independetly
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