Assisted Hatching (AHA)

The word hatching means exit. The human embryo is located inside a protective coating, the so-called glycoprotein membrane, just like a chick in an egg. It has to exit this glycoprotein membrane in order to be fixed on the uterine lining.
The hatching usually takes place during day 5 or 6 of the embryo stage. Unfortunately, the embryo cannot hatch on its own every time, in some cases it needs to be assisted.
This special procedure is called “assisted hatching”, which can be applied based on rigorous professional criteria. Such a hatching is necessary if:
  1. The mother is over 35 years old,
  2. The glycoprotein membrane is measurably thicker than the normal one,
  3. The FSH hormone level is higher than 10
  4. A frozen embryo is being transferred
  5. Embryos have already been transferred twice and the woman did not become pregnant.
  6. From a technical point of view the holes artificially created on the glycoprotein membrane are not dangerous for the embryo.
Assisted hatching can be performed in three different ways. The first is the mechanical method, which consists of performing a cut on the surface of the glycoprotein membrane with a glass knife as thin as a hair. In other cases, a similar cut is performed on the glycoprotein membrane with a laser.
The third method is the enzymatic procedure, when the thinning of the membrane is caused with the grinding effect of a special substance.
The lesion on the glycoprotein membrane heals immediately, thus in a tenth of a second its track cannot be seen, not even with a microscope. Causing the lesion on the glycoprotein membrane is however sufficient to form a weak spot and when the embryo tries to exit, it can successfully break the glycoprotein membrane around this weak spot.
Applying assisted hatching significantly increases the fixing rate and this way the number of the successful IVF treatments.

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