What’s Assisted Hatching?
Medical technology is getting better with each passing year. One of the more recent developments in assisted reproduction is assisted hatching. This technique may be used during some in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures. If you or your partner has recently had a vasectomy reversal with sperm aspiration, consider talking to the fertility doctor about whether you could benefit from assisted hatching.
The Basics of Assisted Hatching
As an embryo develops during its initial stages, it’s surrounded by a layer of proteins. This layer is called the zona pellicuda. An embryo can only successfully implant onto the uterine wall if it’s able to “hatch” out of the zona pellicuda. Assisted hatching is a technique that helps the embryo succeed in doing this.
An In-Depth Look at Assisted Hatching
This technique was developed when fertility specialists noticed that embryos with a thin zona pellicuda were more likely to implant to the uterine wall during an IVF cycle. If a couple is a good candidate for assisted hatching, the technique will be performed on the fourth day of development. At this time, the embryo contains about six to eight cells. Here’s a look at the step-by-step procedure for assisted hatching:
- The embryo is placed under a microscope, stabilized by a pipette.
- Another small pipette is used to introduce an acidified solution to the zona pellicuda to puncture a very small hole in the layer.
- The embryo is rinsed to remove any lingering acidified solution and then returned to the incubator.
- A few hours later, the embryo is ready for the transfer into the uterus.
The Typical Candidates for Assisted Hatching
Assisted hatching isn’t recommended for all couples. It’s generally recommended when a woman has failed to get pregnant after going through one or more IVF cycles, or when she has a poor prognosis of conceiving. Women who are of advanced maternal age, for instance, may be good candidates for assisted hatching.
Over the years, Dr. Joshua Green has performed hundreds of vasectomy reversal surgeries and other male infertility procedures, including sperm aspiration. Bring your questions to your consult, as we pride ourselves on exceptional patient education and guidance. Call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota at (941) 894-6428.
Spotlight on Sperm Function Testing
Couples who are experiencing male infertility may have sperm function testing done, particularly if the male partner had a vasectomy reversal surgery. Sperm function testing is similar to semen analysis, but they aren’t quite the same test. A sperm function test will help the male infertility specialist develop a customized treatment plan that can help the couple achieve pregnancy.
First, the man must provide a sample of semen, which is examined in a laboratory. The lab technician will examine many aspects of the medical sample, including the total semen volume and the sperm density. The sperm density refers to the number of sperm present in the semen. A typical density is greater than 20 million sperm for each milliliter of semen. The lab technician will also examine the sperm motility (how well it moves), sperm morphology (shape of the sperm), and the presence of white blood cells. High amounts of white blood cells may indicate that an infection or inflammation could be affecting the sperm.
Dr. Joshua Green has helped countless couples overcome male infertility caused by vasectomies. Call the Center for Vasectomy Reversal in Sarasota at (941) 894-6428 to discuss your options, which may include sperm aspiration.
Are Vasectomies Really Permanent?
A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the severing of the vas deferens, which is the structure that transports sperm along the male reproductive tract. With the vas deferens severed, sperm will no longer be present in the man’s semen. Men who are thinking about getting a vasectomy should always consider it to be a permanent form of birth control.
However, as you’ll learn when you watch this video, vasectomies can be reversed. And in fact, the success rate of vasectomy reversals is quite high, especially when there is a relatively short period of time between the two surgeries. The infertility specialist featured in this video also discusses some other factors that can affect a successful pregnancy.
Dr. Green of the Center for Vasectomy Reversal invites couples to explore the possibilities with infertility procedures in our Sarasota clinic. Call (941) 894-6428 to request a confidential consultation.
The Best Ways for Guys to Get Involved During the Pregnancy
You and your partner are finally expecting a baby after dealing with male infertility. Congratulations! If you’re like most older dads who undergo vasectomy reversal, you’re looking forward to being a hands-on, involved dad in your kid’s life. But you might feel a little lost during the pregnancy itself. After all, she’s the one doing the hard work of carrying the baby, right? Actually, there are still plenty of ways expecting dads can get involved during the pregnancy—and she’ll definitely appreciate your efforts!
Take charge of the household upkeep.
Cleaning is hard, physical work, and as your partner’s pregnancy progresses, her body might not be up to it anymore. Growing a baby is exhausting work, and she needs to rest as much as possible. Plus, trying to push a vacuum with a belly bump in the way can be tricky. Additionally, many women become nauseated at the smell of cleaning products (some of which may be toxic). Help her out by taking over some of the cleaning responsibilities, switching to nontoxic cleaners, and hiring a maid as needed. Note that if you have a cat, you’ll definitely need to clean the litter box. Pregnant women must avoid this task, due to the risk of toxoplasmosis.
Ease your partner’s aches and pains.
The changes associated with pregnancy can hurt. Your partner will almost certainly experience an aching back and sore, swollen feet. When she gets home from work, she’ll probably want nothing more than to kick back on the couch and relax. So surprise her by giving her a foot rub and back massage.
Be active in the baby prep process.
Planning for a baby’s arrival is practically a full-time job in itself. Be active in the planning process by researching the safest car seats, cribs, and baby bottles. Paint the nursery on a day when she isn’t home to spare her from the fumes. Assemble the crib as soon as you bring it home so she doesn’t have to worry about asking you to do it. And don’t skip those parenting classes and doctor’s appointments!
Here at the Center for Vasectomy Reversal, we’re immensely proud of the beautiful babies we’ve helped couples conceive over the years. Our vasectomy reversal surgeon in Sarasota looks forward to meeting you and your partner and helping you make an informed decision about the surgery. Call (941) 894-6428 to request your consultation with Dr. Joshua Green.
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