Assisted Hatching (AH) is performed as part of the embryology lab’s protocol during an IVF cycle to assist embryos in hatching from their shell (zona pellucida). The zona pellucida initially helps to protect the egg and resulting embryo, but it is essential that the embryo hatch from the zona pellucida for it to implant on the uterine wall and create a pregnancy. Assisted Hatching may help patients with increased FSH levels, who are of advanced maternal age, or whose embryos have thick zonas. Patients who have embryos cryopreserved and are preparing for a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) can also benefit from AH.  AH is used only when necessary before a transfer if the zona pellucida is not already thinning.  Because we consider AH a necessary part of IVF for many people, it is included in our price of IVF.  There are no known long term effects of AH.