Who Should Use Assisted Hatching?

Assisted Hatching is a procedure that may be used during artificial insemination techniques, especially in vitro fertilization. The assisted hatching procedure is a micromanipulation technique performed during the fourth day of the development of the embryo. It has several risks that the couple should be aware of. The procedure is not suitable for all women and is mostly recommended for a number of women that have trouble conceiving.

Women over 35

The assisted hatching procedure is not typically recommended for younger women that are trying to conceive. The procedure is recommended for women over the age of 35 who are trying to conceive a baby but have not been successful and are considering in vitro fertilization. Women under the age of 30 should try conceiving at least for one year before getting tests, while women over 30 should try for 6 months.

The procedure has a decent success rate for women between the ages of 35 and 40 and a success rate of less than 30% for women over 40. However, in women over 40 this procedure will have a higher success rate of fertilization than other artificial insemination treatments that are not helped by assisted hatching.

Several Failed IVF Cycles

The in vitro fertilization (IVF) is performed for couples that fail to conceive under normal circumstances. If the couple experiences two or more failed IVF cycles, the procedure should be helped by the assisted hatching technique.

Embryos with Thick Covering Layers

The embryo is covered by a protective layer that is made up mostly of proteins and enzymes. This protective layer is known as the zona pellicuda. If the couple fails to conceive for several months, tests must be performed and the thickness of the zona pelliculada will be determined. If the zona pelliculada is particularly thick, assisted hatching will be recommended.

Abnormal FSH Levels

The FSH, or the follicle stimulating hormone, is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. The levels of this hormone indicate the ovarian reserve. If the ovarian reserve is low, the chances of conceiving are lower. The FSH will stimulate the growth of eggs in women, but may also be present in men, helping the sperm to mature.

Tests should be performed to detect the FSH hormone levels in women who try to conceive. If the levels of FSH are higher on the third day of the menstrual cycle and much lower on the rest of the days, the assisted hatching procedure is recommended. If the levels of FSH are normal, assisted hatching is not necessary. However, assisted hatching may be used if the woman is over 35 or has had several failed IVF cycles.

Couples with Realistic Expectations

The couple opting for assisted hatching should be aware of the possible complications and risks involved in this procedure (i.e., conjoined twins or birth defects) and should also know that the success rates are less than 50%.

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