Often, an in vitro fertilisation procedure can produce several embryos during the fertilisation process. Some couples opt to cryopreserve the embryos that are not transferred to the uterus during a given cycle, in the hope that they can use them later. This preservation process entails a sequence of freezing and thawing, the effects of which could adversely affect the natural process of blastocyst hatching. Laser assisted hatching is a laboratory procedure that loosens a blastocyst within its outer shell, allowing it to implant successfully once it is deposited onto the uterine lining.
Laser assisted hatching enables a blastocyst to thaw quickly, yet effectively, without compromising on its integrity.
Laser assisted hatching can produce better quality blastocysts than traditional thawing methods. On Cloudnine, we strive to optimise your odds of conception in every in vitro fertilisation cycle and we recommend assisted hatching as a tool to stimulate implantation.
Cryopreservation is an ultra-modern technique that can preserve your embryos for up to a decade. However, the success of the process hinges on how well the embryos are frozen and thawed. It is possible that the shell housing the embryo may be impaired if it is not handled properly. Assisted hatching can micro-manipulate an embryo effectively, leaving you to make the most of cryopreservation.
Laser assisted hatching can augment implantation and bring you closer to pregnancy if you have previously had three or more unfavourable in vitro fertilisation cycles. Alternatively, if your doctor finds that the outer walls of your embryos seem to be thicker than usual, a laser assisted hatching routine may be recommended for you.
Laser assisted hatching is a short two-step process, following the retrieval of cryopreserved embryos.
The hatching process is performed for each embryo individually. First, the embryo is framed by a circle of light indicating the circumference around which the laser will beam. Then, the laser starts pulsing a portion of the circumference, attempting to dissolve a part of the embryonic shell. The process is performed delicately, to ensure that the heat from the laser is not transferred to the cells of the embryo.
Your embryologist will identify up to two embryos to be placed inside the uterus. The embryo will then implant itself in the uterine lining in the following few days.
There are two main risks associated with laser assisted hatching.
If the laser hatching process is performed poorly, an embryo could be blemished or permanently destroyed. The fertility experts on Cloudnine are seasoned specialists, armed with years of experience in laser assisted hatching. Together, they have established some of the best assisted hatching rates in the country.
There is a school of thought that suggests that assisted hatching can promote monozygotic twinning, although this theory is unattested.