Assisted Zona Hatching /AZH
Assisted Zona Hatching (AZH) is a procedure performed on all embryos prior to transfer to the uterus on Day 3 of embryo development.
Assisted Zona Hatching is done in order to increase the chances of embryo implantation and pregnancy. Each human embryo is surrounded by a “shell” called the zona pellucida. The embryo must break out of this shell in order for implantation to occur. An unusually thick or hard "shell" is thought to reduce the likelihood of implantation and pregnancy. Therefore by creating an artificial opening in the shell the likelihood of implantation is thought to increase. IHR's expertise in AZH lies in our willingness and ability to individualize our approach to best suit each and every one of our patients. If you have any questions as you review the material on AZH, please contact us for a FREE AZH E-Mail Consultation..
Assisted hatching is performed using micromanipulation instruments attached to a microscope. The embryo is held in position by gentle suction from a micropipette. An opening is created in the zona pellucida using fine glass needle. The needle never comes in contact with the embryo but allows for an incision to be made in the outer shell. This procedure is performed in a drop of nutrient medium and afterward the embryo is returned to culture until the embryo transfer procedure is performed. This opening is thought to facilitate hatching, which normally takes place in the uterus, and enhance contact with the lining of the uterus. AZH is most useful for patients older than 38 years of age, with elevated levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), or have embryos thicker than normal zona pellucida, or have undergone previous multiple IVF attempts with failed implantations.
Perhaps less known is our work with individuals and couples who are considering assisted reproduction, but who are uncertain of their next step. We encourage anyone, before they make a decision, to consult with us. Currently, we are offering a FREE AZH E-Mail Consultation.