Patients may not be aware of the benefits that assisted hatching may bring to couples and in vitro fertilization procedures. In Springfield, Massachusetts, many patients and couples have experienced firsthand the benefits that this procedure brings to the table. Patients interested in this procedure should speak to a fertility specialist at a fertility clinic in their area to determine if they are a candidate for such a procedure. Typically, the ideal candidate will be over 37 years old, will have an elevation of a growth hormone on the third day of their menstrual cycle, will be part of a couple that has experienced IVF failures in the past and will be part of a couple whose embryos have a thick protective layer, or zona pellicuda.
The whole purpose behind assisted hatching is to assist the embryo in breaking out of the protective layer of proteins that forms around the embryo to protect it until it enters the blastocyst stage of development. This typically occurs after five days. Some embryos may not have enough energy to break out of the protective layer, or the layer may be particularly thick, which may cause problems for the embryo. For the embryo to implant in the uterine lining, it must first break out of the protective layer surrounding it in its initial stages of development.
Assisted hatching is performed on the third day of development. The use of a microscope is necessary in this procedure. The embryo is put into a Petri dish to begin. An acidic solution is then injected into the protective layer. The solution then breaks down the protective layering, creating a small hole. The embryo is washed in a special solution and placed back into an incubator where it will remain until the time comes for it to be implanted into the woman's uterus.
One of the risks associated with this procedure is the increase in the chances of conceiving identical twins. This is due to the chance that the technique used to break through the protective layer may cause the embryo to split into two identical halves. Other possible risks associated with assisted hatching include damage to the embryo. This may result in conjoined twins, death, complications with the fetus and physical deformities. Because of the nature of the risks involved, careful skill and focus is required of the technician performing the procedure. For this reason, it is important that couples interested in assisted hatching seek a reputable fertility clinic in the Shawnee Mission area.
When the procedure is performed by a skilled technician, the success rates for this procedure are very high. In some cases, a success rate of 49% is achieved in women between the ages of 35 and 39. Women who are over 40 may experience a decrease in their chances of success. This is common with other assisted reproductive technologies as well. Couples or patients interested in this procedure should speak to a medical professional to further discuss the procedure and the possible risks it may hold.