Assisted hatching facilitates in creating a hole in or thinning the zona pellucida, helping the embryo in the hatching process. The procedure is performed just before embryo transfer and has shown to significantly improve implantation rates. It is a safe procedure and is highly recommended for frozen embryos where the zona is hardened due to exposure to cryoprotectants and extremely low temperatures.
Assisted laser hatching aims at increasing the efficiency of procedures such as IVF and ICSI.An unfertilized oocyte is surrounded by a layer called the zona pellucida. Initial role of the zona is to allow only one sperm to penetrate and enter the oocyte to bring about fertilization.
After fertilization, as the embryos undergoes cleavage, the zona normally hardens to hold together the cells inside.