fertility treatments

How Can Couples Be Benefited From Laser Assisted Hatching

  • 4.7 (6 Votes)

Laser Assisted Hatching is a technique used as part of In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. Couples, who have experienced failed IVF treatment or patients with poor prognosis, usually benefit from laser assisted hatching as part of embryo implantation. The process is advanced and safer than chemical and manual hatching.

What is Laser Assisted Hatching?

Advancement in science and technology has sorted the lives of people to a great extent. Technology has been helping us at every segment from work to be done to the production of goods and even in reproduction also. Laser-assisted hatching is one of the technological advancements, which has been around us for a long time. It can be considered as one of the technological gifts for women older in age.

Laser Assisted Hatching is a technique used in In-Vitro Fertilization. This technique helps to improve the implantation of embryos into a woman’s uterine lining. The process creates an opening into the patient’s uterine lining allowing the embryonic cells to hatch. It is a safe technique, which helps to weaken, and thinning a small section of the zona pellucida. If the zona pellucida is harder, the case becomes more complicated. This happens because the eggs will not hatch or may use excessive energy for getting out. This can end up with repugnance to the woman’s uterus and reduces the likelihood of implantation. Reasons accompanying the same include the age of the patient because women above 37 years generally produce eggs with a harder or thicker zona pellucida as compared to younger women, another reason supporting the reduction of implantation in women with a high level of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH).

Laser Hatching

Procedure of Laser Assisted Hatching

This procedure is performed in lab. Here the laser beam is used to hatch the outer shell to facilitate the embryo implantation. For this purpose circle of the colored beam of light is fixed. This circle locates the point where the laser will fire. This laser beam is invisible; we can only see its effects.

Laser beam releases energy in the embryo shell and dissolves it. The laser is pulsed three times to create a complete gap in the shell. However, this exact technique may vary based on the power settings, technique and spot size. For a successful pregnancy, this hatching is performed without affecting the embryo.

Laser Aaaisted Hatching

When Laser Assisted Hatching is Recommended

Laser Assisted Hatching is recommended in the following cases:

  • Patients who are more than 37 years old.
  • Patients having Frozen Embryo Replacement (FER)
  • Patients who have faced a failed IVF or ICSI treatment
  • Those who are going for IVF/ ICSI for the first time. They are considered poor responders because they have required a high dose of Gonadotrophins. It is a kind of infertility drug for a poor ovarian response.
  • Those with poor quality and quantity of embryos
  • Those who have had a low fertilization rate in earlier IVF cycle
  • Couples going for IVF treatment with embryos that have a thick outer shell called as zona pellucida

Advantages of Laser Assisted Hatching

Laser Assisted Hatching with IVF has many benefits like:

  • In this treatment, only fewer embryos are required to be transferred
  • Assisted Hatching can Increase the implantation success rates
  • It allows for blastocyst culture
  • Reduces chance for multiple pregnancies

Other Assisted Hatching Methods

Assisted hatching is not always assumed to make a small break or tear in the egg. There are other methods too that are practiced by different labs, accordingly. Some of the methods are mentioned as follows:

  • Mechanical Hatching: There is a risk of controlling the size of the opening (zona pellucida) with this technique. As an embryologist keeps the embryo steady with the help of a pipette while puncturing the zona pellucida using a micro-needle. (Imagining a very thin line alongside the embryo). 
  • Mechanical Expansion of the Shell: Through this technique, hydrostatic pressure is introduced just under the shell, making it expand. This method’s idea comes from the natural expansion of the outer shell during the hatching process. 
  • Chemical Hatching: A chemical known as Tyrode’s acid is used in this treatment while treating the patient. Small amount of Tyrode’s acid is applied to the zona pellucida until the shell is breached. There is a risk of chemical exposure of the embryo under this treatment.
  • Drilling: In this technique, vibrations are created for a conical opening. This technique uses another technology called Piezo technology.

Of all the methods mentioned above, chemical hatching is one of the commonly used techniques, as not every embryology lab is equipped with Laser Assisted Hatching process. 

Risks Associated with Assisted Hatching

There are multiple risks with laser-assisted hatching. They are: 

  • Manipulation or interference with an embryo can lethally damage it, which ironically means that embryo’s natural capacity is challenged and will somehow result in non-pregnancy of the woman. 
  • Another risk of assisted hatching is twinning, specifically monozygotic twins. It is an identical twin, which comes from an egg and a sperm. During the IVF treatment, chances of twinning are already increased, and researchers have found that assisted hatching may further increase the risk. However, all multiple pregnancies carry risk, but monozygotic twin pregnancies come with some more and can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby. 
  • Assisted laser hatching can cause complications for the female partner. These complications include nausea, vomiting, swelling of the face, water retention, and headache. However, these problems are not that big and can be diagnosed with simple medication.

Success Rate of Laser Assisted Hatching

One of the foremost questions is asking about the success rate. The success rate, in this case, is that how many couples have come along with a baby in their hand after the treatment. The success rate of IVF along with laser assisted hatching increases up to 50 %. A Cochrane review considering a collection of 31 studies have found hatching process has improved the clinical pregnancy rates. However, the same lack in the live birth rates. Ultimately, the results matter and here the live birth rates. The goal for any fertility treatment is taking a baby home, not just getting a positive pregnancy test. Embryologist’s experience plays a bigger part in making the process successful.

Factors that Affect Laser Assisted Hatching Success Rate

There are some factors, which can influence the success rate of Laser Assisted Hatching:

  • Experience of the embryologist
  • Expertise deployed during the procedure
  • The nature of the embryo basically the thickness of the shell
  • Quality of the infertility Centre

Treatment Cost for Laser Assisted Hatching

Cost of the treatment depends on many factors. Various clinics offering IVF treatment along with Laser assisted Technique include the cost of both the treatments. It is an affordable treatment in India as compared to other countries. It ranges from Rs. 20,000 to 30,000 only. Many factors that affect the cost of the treatment are mentioned as follows:

  • Type of infertility center
  • City selected
  • Experience of the Embryologist
  • Type of the treatment. For example after IVF or ICSI
  • Number of embryos used

Hope this article gave you all the information about Laser Assisted Hatching and how is it beneficial for couples. Follow elawoman.com to get all the latest updates regarding any infertility treatment, IVF, IUI, and Surrogacy. You can also call on the given number to book an appointment +917899912611.

Dr. Astha Dayal

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, Obstetrician Dr. Astha Dayal

Dr. Astha Dayal is an infertility specialist who has been practising for many years to help women conceive naturally as well as with the help of assisted techniques. Her extensive knowledge in Dysmenorrhea Treatment, High-Risk Pregnancy, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and Abortion and Infertility Treatments makes her one of the most preferred Gynecologists in Gurgaon. She completed MBBS and MD in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from G B Pant Hospital and Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi in 2003 and 2008 respectively. Following this, she pursued MRCOG from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in London in 2011. She is also a member of World Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons (WALS), Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), London and Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI). You can get the contact details of Dr. Astha Dayal at elawoman.com


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  2. All you need to know about embryo freezing embryos into a woman’s uterine lining, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Procedure, benefits and setbacks of sequential embryo transfer (set) embryo implantation, Elawoman - 2018
  4. Fresh embryo vs frozen embryo transfer in ivf Frozen Embryo Replacement, Elawoman - 2018
  5. What is icsi? ICSI, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Six factors determine ivf success rate success rates, Elawoman - 2017
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Mr. and Mrs. Wadhava

We have been through failed IVF cycles so as per our doctor's recommendation we opted for laser assisted hatching. This proved to be successful in our case.

Nov. 24, 2018, 9:44 p.m. 4.5


Ritika V Singhala

Laser-assisted hatching is a very useful technique for couples who are going for infertility treatment for the first time. This is because they will be poor responders for any infertility treatment for the first time.

Nov. 21, 2018, 5:01 p.m. 4.5


Deepika Karmakar

I will recommend this article to one of my friends who is facing problems with her infertility treatment. I hope she will get some benefit after reading this blog.

Nov. 20, 2018, 7:48 a.m. 4.5


Shreya Dhar

Laser-assisted hatching increases the success rate of IVF. This technique along with IVF is very beneficial for childless couples who are trying for a baby from a very long time.

Nov. 15, 2018, 12:03 p.m. 5.0


Deepak Mehra

Laser Assisted Hatching is beneficial for couples who don't want multiple pregnancies as it reduces the chances of multiple pregnancies.

Nov. 15, 2018, 11:39 a.m. 5.0


Rajnish Niten

We had successful IVF treatment with Laser Assisted Hatching. It is really helpful for women having low egg quality.

Nov. 12, 2018, 3:18 p.m. 4.5

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