Assisted Hatching In order for an embryo to implant in the uterus, it must first emerge (‘hatch’) from its thick outer layer, the zona pellucida. ‘Hatching’ is part of an embryo’s normal development and usually happens without any assistance. In some situations, however, when embryos may not ‘hatch’ well on their own, we can help facilitate this process using the Assisted Hatching procedure. The procedure involves making a small hole in the zona pellucida with a laser. Assisted Hatching is recommended for women 41 years or older who are having a transfer on day 3 and for thawed cleaved embryos.