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Assisted Hatching

Thomson Fertility Centre is pleased to offer an assisted hatching service on embryos to our patients before embryo transfer in the attempt to improve implantation rates. The unsuccessful implantation of embryos may be the result of an inefficient hatching process.

What is Assisted Hatching?

Hatching is the process by which the blastocyst (a day-5 embryo) escapes from the zona pellucida (the “shell” of the embryo) before implantation. Hatching may occur on about day 6 or 7 of embryo development. Some embryos are unable to hatch, possibly attributed to the “shell” being too thick or hardened.

Why is Assisted Hatching recommended?

While some studies have reported improved pregnancy rates after assisted hatching, others found the treatment to be ineffective. It has been shown to improve implantation rates for specific groups of patients with:

  • embryos that have thick or hardened zona pellucida
  • transfer of frozen-thawed embryos (Balaban et al., 2006, Martins et al., 2011)
  • the woman’s age being more than 38 years
  • basal follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level of > 10 mIU/mL
  • previous implantation failure after an IVF/ ICSI cycle (Herslag et al., 1999)

Therefore, if you and/or your embryos falls into at least one of the conditions mentioned above, you may benefit from the assisted hatching procedure.


Want to find out more about the services we provide? Do you have any questions about your particular situation or are you looking to book an appointment with one of our fertility specialists?