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J Anim Sci. 2004 Dec;82(12):3508-17.

Effect of addition of a progesterone intravaginal insert to a timed insemination protocol using estradiol cypionate on ovulation rate, pregnancy rate, and late embryonic loss in lactating dairy cows.

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Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of California-Davis, Tulare 93274, USA.


The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of incorporating a progesterone intravaginal insert (CIDR) between the day of GnRH and PGF2alpha treatments of a timed AI protocol using estradiol cypionate (ECP) to synchronize ovulation on display of estrus, ovulation rate, pregnancy rate, and late embryonic loss in lactating cows. Holstein cows, 227 from Site 1 and 458 from Site 2, were presynchronized with two injections of PGF2alpha on study d 0 and 14, and subjected to a timed AI protocol (100 mixrog of GnRH on study d 28, 25 mg of PGF2alpha on study d 35, 1 mg of ECP on study d 36, and timed AI on study d 38) with or without a CIDR insert. Blood was collected on study d 14 and 28 for progesterone measurements to determine cyclicity. Ovaries were scanned on d 35, 37, and 42, and pregnancy diagnosed on d 65 and 79, which corresponded to 27 and 41 d after AI. Cows receiving a CIDR had similar rates of detected estrus (77.2 vs. 73.8%), ovulation (85.6 vs. 86.6%), and pregnancy at 27 (35.8 vs. 38.8%) and 41 d (29.3 vs. 32.3%) after AI, and late embryonic loss between 27 and 41 d after AI (18.3 vs. 16.8%) compared with control cows. The CIDR eliminated cows in estrus before the last PGF2alpha injection and decreased (P < 0.001) the proportion of cows bearing a corpus luteum (CL) at the last PGF2alpha injection because of less ovulation in response to the GnRH and greater spontaneous CL regression. Cyclic cows had greater (P = 0.03) pregnancy rates than anovulatory cows at 41 d after AI (33.8 vs. 20.4%) because of decreased (P = 0.06) late embryonic loss (16.0 vs. 30.3%). The ovulatory follicle was larger (P < 0.001) in cows in estrus, and a greater proportion of cows with follicles > or = 15 mm displayed estrus (P < 0.001) and ovulated (P = 0.05) compared with cows with follicles <15 mm. Pregnancy rates were greater (P < 0.001) for cows displaying estrus, which were related to the greater (P < 0.001) ovulation rate and decreased (P = 0.08) late embryonic loss for cows in estrus at AI. Cows that were cyclic and responded to the presynchronization protocol (high progesterone at GnRH and CL at PGF2alpha) had the highest pregnancy rates. Incorporation of a CIDR insert into a presynchronized timed AI protocol using ECP to induce estrus and ovulation did not improve pregnancy rates in lactating dairy cows. Improvements in pregnancy rates in cows treated with ECP to induce ovulation in a timed AI protocol are expected when more cows display estrus, thereby increasing ovulation rate.

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