Assisted Hatching involves creating an opening in the outer covering, or Zona pellucida, of the embryo is created using micromanipulation techniques. This technique is used for embryos with thickened zona pellucida.
Not every growing embryo will be transferred. It is recommended that only one embryo be transferred, and in some circumstances two, to most patients. Untransferred embryos must be frozen (cryopreserved) and stored. Louisiana State law requires that all viable embryos which are not immediately transferred and continue to grow must be cryopreserved. Once embryos are stored, they can remain frozen for long periods of time. Half to two-thirds of embryos will survive the freezing and thawing process. Cryopreservation allows for further attempts at pregnancy without further surgery.
Conditions requiring the use of donated eggs include premature ovarian failure, genetic abnormalities, prior ovarian surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, repeated failure of in vitro fertilization, unexplained and repeated miscarriages and advanced age. Egg donation programs may use two types of donors: known or anonymous. Known donors can be friends or relatives who undergo ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval in order to help the recipient. Anonymous donors may be patients who have produced a large number of eggs and are willing to donate their excess eggs. In addition, patients have the option to explore egg banks or donor egg programs.
Host Uterus (Gestational Surrogacy)
In the absence of a functional uterus, a patient may choose to have another woman carry the genetic baby conceived from her eggs and her partner's sperm. Eggs are retrieved and fertilized in the same manner as for IVF, except that the resulting embryos are transferred into the host uterus to develop. This procedure is performed only after careful psychological evaluation is performed on both couples involved and a legal agreement is in place between the couples.