The developing embryo must “hatch” from its surrounding coating, the zona pellucida. Assisted hatching is a procedure associated with IVF that enhances the ability of the embryo to hatch and embed in the endometrium.
Assisted hatching involves making a small whole in the zona pellucida using a chemical known as Acid Tyrodes or using a laser. It is believed that the opening in the zona pellucida will assist the embryo to more easily hatch and improve the likelihood of implanting into the uterus.
Assisted hatching is typically performed on developing embryos just prior to transfer. Assisted hatching is also routinely done on embryos after they are thawed in a frozen embryo cycle.