AZH is a procedure performed on all embryos prior to transfer to the uterus on Day 3 of embryo development. This is done in order to increase the chance of embryo implantation and pregnancy. Each human embryo is surrounded by a "shell" called the zona pellucida. The embryo must “hatch” or escape 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. Assisted Hatching is suggested in all situations where the Zona Pellucida is thickened, for example in older women, and following IVM and Cryopreservation.
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