Laser assisted hatching - a photo essay
We can use "embryo surgery" called zona drilling or assisted hatching to "soften" the shell of the embryo ( Laser Hatching Video ) . This helps to increase pregnancy rates by improving implantation rates, since embryo hatching is facilitated.
It's a sad fact that IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) technology today is still not perfect. Only one of ten embryos we transfer in the uterus implants successfully in the endometrium to become a baby. Why is the embryo ( Laser Hatching Video ) implantation rate only 10 ? Some doctors believe this is because the surrounding shell of the embryo (called the zona pellucida) hardens when it is cultured in the laboratory.
We can use "embryo surgery" called zona drilling or assisted hatching to "soften" the shell of the embryo ( Laser Hatching Video ) . This helps to increase pregnancy rates by improving implantation rates, since embryo hatching is facilitated. In the past, this was done using acid (acid Tyrode's) , but this can damage the embryo.
Today, we can precisely create an opening in the zona safely and effectively with the use of a laser.This photo essay shows how we perform laser assisted hatching in our Fertility center.
- The embryo ( Laser Hatching Video ) is positioned under the microscope. This is a 4-cell Grade A embryo; and you can see it zona ( shell) clearly.
- The laser is used to make an opening at 3 o'clock. This is a non-contact laser, which means the embryo is not touched at all.
- The laser is fired again to increase the size of the opening. Note how precisely this is done, and how accurate and well-controlled it is.
- The laser is fired again, so that the entire zona is breached. This opening will help the embryo to hatch from the zona during implantation. The laser is fired far away from the blastomeres, so that these are not damaged at all. This embryo is now ready for transfer into the uterine cavity, where it will hopefully implant and become a baby.