Why Assisted Hatching?
Assisted hatching is a technique that is sometimes used as part of IVF. When an egg is fertilized, it is covered in a tough layer of proteins known as the zona pellucida. This is very similar to the shell of a bird egg. During early development, as the egg divides for the first few times, it remains contained within the zona pellucida. In order to implant into the uterus, the embryo must break this shell to gain access to the uterine lining. In the assisted hatching procedure, a technician uses a solution of acid or a very fine laser to make a small hole in the zona pellucida. This is thought to increase the chances that the embryo will successfully implant into the wall of the uterus and develop into a baby.
If you’re choosing to use assisted reproductive technology, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that IVF with assisted hatching is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the assisted hatching procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
The fee for assisted hatching is generally between $400 to $1,000. At most clinics, this cost is in addition to the regular costs of a cycle of IVF. At some clinics, assisted hatching is included in the price for IVF, because some clinics believe that assisted hatching improves the pregnancy rates for all embryos.
Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual clinic, so you should check with the provider(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Some insurance policies cover the cost of assisted reproductive technology, while others specifically exclude this type of treatment. In many cases, there will be only partial coverage of your treatment, or coverage will be limited to a certain number of cycles or certain types of treatment. Even if IVF is covered by your insurance, the extra cost of assisted hatching might not be covered. You should check with your insurance company to determine your coverage before you begin infertility treatment.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many infertility clinics offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Assisted Reproductive Technology Financing page.