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Laser Assisted Hatching (LAH)

DEFINITION
The term is used to describe the procedure of opening a small hole to the transparent embryo’s belt which envelopes it as a cell. Using a laser attached to a microscope, a precision cut is made in order to facilitate the implantation of the embryo to the uterus.

WHEN IS THE TECHNIQUE USED?
During the first days of its development, the embryo, is enveloped by an outer cover, the transparent belt. Its role is protective towards the developing embryo by sheltering mechanically the integrity of the embryo and protecting it from its surrounding environment. In some cases the transparent belt is thicker or harder than normal and does not dissolve, thus preventing the implantation of the embryo.

WHY WE COULD USE THIS TECHNIQUE?
The embryologist can facilitate the embryos task – technically assist hatching – during in vitro fertilization, by opening a small hole or by thinning a small area of the surface of the transparent belt with the use of a laser, before it is transferred to the uterus. This cab increase the probability of the successful embryo’s attachment to the endometrium and the possibility of a pregnancy. On the other hand, this particular technique can potentially harm the embryo and is only implemented when deemed necessary.

PARAMETERS
In order to implement this some basic parameters should be met:
• A high level of the AMH hormone.
• The age of the patient (over 40 years of age).
• Transfer of cryopreserved embryos
• A high level of the FSH hormone.
• Multiple unsuccessful attempts for in vitro fertilization.
• A thick or hardened transparent belt of the embryo.