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Advanced Technologies for Assisted Hatching
A woman cannot get pregnant till the embryo hatches. The technology of assisted hatching lets the embryo attach itself to the woman’s womb.
Some Complexities to Lookout for
Zona pellucida is a shell that surrounds the unfertilised egg and it ensures that only a single sperm enters to fertilise the egg. After the egg gets fertilised, it keeps embryo cells together. It starts getting hard during the cleavage stages and in the in vitro culture of the embryo. This happens due to the conditions of culture. When the egg is removed for in vitro fertilisation and for micro insemination, it takes it to the natural environment.
Women, who are above 37 years of age or those who have been treated with a higher dose of the follicle stimulating hormone or FSH, tend to have eggs with a hard zona pellucida. The problem with the hard zona pellucida is that it will cause difficulty for the egg to hatch or it may use a lot of energy to hatch out and may not be able to attach to the uterus of the woman. It is important that the egg hatches for the woman to get pregnant.
Recent Modern Technologies to Help Hatching
Laser Assisted Hatching
Laser Assisted Hatching is a method that helps the fertilised egg hatch and attaches itself to the uterus. The other methods used for the same purpose is mechanical or acid hatching. The Laser Assisted Hatching method is a safe and a gentle way that weakens a part of the zona pellucda. After the fertilized egg is treated, the embryo is transferred to the womb.
Research shows that women who have undergone a number of IVF treatments without any positive results have a higher chance of pregnancy by using the laser-assisted hatching method. The method is also used in case of thawed embryos since these may find a little difficulty in attaching to the womb. The chances of pregnancy are assessed by the doctor who may then recommend Laser Assisted Hatching.
Time lapse monitoring is a frontline technology in the medical world. In this method, the system captures the digital images of the embryos at a predetermined interval and this allows the embryologist to track how a selection of embryos is developing. The method lets the embryologist trace the journey of the embryo in a superlative detail without it getting removed from the incubator. The controlled temperature and the environment boost the chances of survival of the embryo.
TLEM lets the doctor get clues of how the embryo is developing. Based on how the embryo performs in the incubator, the embryologist will grade the embryo based on the wall thickness, its shape and structure and the degree of fragmentation. The procedure gives an insight that would not be possible to monitor with the traditional tools. Like suppose the embryo contains an incorrect number of chromosomes, this will go unnoticed when it is observed under a conventional in-vitro fertilisation routine. These embryos are not adequate to be implanted and this could result in a miscarriage. The TLEM process lets an embryologist selectively pick up the embryos that are highly likely to reach the stage of a blastocyst.
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