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What is Laser Assisted Hatching?

Laser-assisted hatching is an advanced technology used along with IVF treatment to increase the rate of successful implantation of the embryo.

Laser-Assisted Hatching Technique

LAH procedure is carried out on the 3rd day after the IVF cycle when the embryo is still in the lab. In this technique, a specialized laser is used to create a breach in zona pellucida. Laser technology allows a more controlled approach and is the safest and most effective technique. Though making a small crack in the zona pellucida sounds like a simple technique, it involves precise procedures and a skilled technician to perform it. The embryology lab needs to have specialized instruments to perform this advanced technology. The whole process is fairly quick and takes only a few seconds.

In this process, laser shots are used that softens the zona pellucida, which helps to create an opening. The laser will not come in direct contact with the embryo and is performed with utmost delicacy and precision. This procedure ensures the safety of the embryo.

Advantages of LAH

When Laser-assisted hatching is compared with other assisted hatching procedures, it is more accurate. LAH procedure does not involve manual handling of the embryo; hence there are fewer chances of any damage. Accuracy of laser is predetermined in the program, which ensures the safety of the embryo. Laser-assisted hatching boosts the success rate of pregnancy.

Risks Associated with LAH

Risk is similar to other IVF or ICSI procedures. Laser-assisted hatching interferes with embryos natural hatching process; hence it involves a few risks. One of the possible risks is embryo might get lethally injured. This can happen before the embryo transfer or after. In any case, pregnancy will not occur. Another risk is, even after LAH, the embryo might fail to hatch completely.

LAH can also result in multiple pregnancies. Generally, IVF is associated with multiple pregnancies, and LAH procedure increases this risk further. This leads to high-risk pregnancies but is seen in less than 1% cases.

If you are wondering that LAH might result in congenital defects in babies, this is not true. Many studies have been conducted, which revealed that the LAH procedure does not cause any congenital disability.

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