What Is Laser Assisted Hatching?

The advent of the laser has allowed the development of precision techniques to manipulate embryos for enhanced fertility.

Assisted hatching is used to help the embryo hatch from its protective outer shell, the zona pellucida, and promote implantation in the uterine wall after embryo transfer. Laser-assisted hatching (LAH) uses a highly focused infrared laser beam to remove the zona pellucida in very precise increments. Prior to the clinical availability of the lasers, only mechanical or chemical methods could be used for assisted hatching of human embryos in clinical settings. Laser-assisted hatching requires less handling of the embryo than these other assisted hatching methods. Also, laser-assisted hatching is faster than the other methods and, therefore, the embryo spends less time outside the incubator.