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Reprod Biomed Online. 2006 Aug;13(2):261-7.

Effects of assisted hatching method and age on implantation rates of IVF and ICSI.

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Centre for Reproductive Medicine, University of Bristol, 4 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TY, UK.


The objective of this study was to investigate whether a change in assisted hatching (AH) technique from total to partial penetration of the zona pellucida improved the outcome of IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles where AH was indicated. This was an observational study conducted from the beginning of January 2000 to the end of April 2005. Total AH was performed in 312 cycles, while partial AH was performed in 592 cycles. In women of all ages, implantation, clinical pregnancy and live birth rates were higher in the partial AH group than in the total AH group (12.6 versus 7.2%, P = 0.0001; 22.3 versus 15.7%, P = 0.02; 18.2 versus 12.5%, P = 0.03 respectively). The benefit of partial AH was most marked in women under 38 years old (i.e. the recurrent implantation failure group). The authors conclude that partial AH is associated with higher implantation and pregnancy rates than total AH, especially in women under 38 years old who suffer from recurrent implantation failure.

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