Assisted hatching

Visit the Assisted Conception Unit (ACU) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for assisted hatching treatments - you can ask your GP to refer you to us.

An egg is surrounded by a shell which is still present in the early embryo. To implant in the womb, the embryo has to break through this outer coat—a process known as hatching.

It has been suggested that sometimes hatching fails to occur which may provide an explanation, at least in part, as to why some couples fail to achieve a pregnancy.

Assisted hatching is a procedure that involves a hole being made in the shell of the developing embryo, generated from either an IVF or ICSI treatment, to aid the natural process of hatching.

This is performed on day 3 following egg collection, approximately 30 minutes before the embryos are transferred.


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