Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
Generally, yes, hatching means that the embryo is doing homework, let’s say it like that, and that is trying to go out from the zona pellucida to implant. However, as it happens quite often in medicine, the hatching must take place at the right time. If the embryo doesn’t hatch too early, that’s may not be a sign of a good prognosis.
When do we expect the embryos to do the hatching? Usually, between day 5 and day 6, that’s when most of the embryos start doing that. How do we classify embryos when they are doing the hatching? That depends on if they have started the hatching, then the blastocyst will be graded as 4. If half of the embryo has already done the hatching, the blastocyst will be graded as a 5, or when the embryo has completely finished the hatching, it will be graded as a 6.
Answer from: Zane Vitina, MD
While the embryo develops, it is surrounded by cells that make a natural shield, it is called zona pellucida. When it grows, it breaks out naturally. This process is called hatching.
We can help with it by making a hole in the zona pellucida. It is indicated in several situations, such as if the lady is over 37 years of age, or if the embryo quality is not good enough, or the zona is thicker than usual. Sometimes, if the embryo is thawed before vitrification, and we need vitrification of blastocyst. Also, if there is a partner’s male factor and in situations when the previous implantations failed.