LAH (Laser-Assisted Hatching)
Laser-Assisted Hatching is a laboratory procedure that is sometimes done along with in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. While the embryo develops, it is surrounded by cells that make up a protective shell (zona pellucida). The embryo naturally breaks out of this shell as it grows. Occasionally, the doctor may ask the laboratory to make a small “crack” in the outer shell of the embryo right before it is placed into the woman’s body (assisted hatching). The hope is that assisted hatching might help the embryo expand, implant into the uterine wall, and finally lead to a pregnancy.
How is assisted hatching done?
During assisted hatching, the outer shell of the embryo is artificially weakened by making a small hole in the zona pellucida. This can be done in several different ways. The method we use and which is the most advanced method involves the use of a laser to “crack” the shell. This procedure greatly enhances the chances of the embryo to grow, come out of the shell, implant, and result in a pregnancy.