Increase of pregnancy rate after multiple periovulatory inseminations in mares
Objective There exist differences in the reproductive behavior of stallions and mares under free-running and domestic in-hand breeding conditions. Contrary to artificial insemination programs, a stallion mates a mare multiple times per estrus under natural conditions. The objective of this study was to determine if multiple periovulatory artificial inseminations (MI), four times in two different time intervals instead of two, would result in increased pregnancy outcome or higher incidences of breeding induced endometritis. Material and methods Eighty-two estrous mares were allocated randomly to one of three experimental groups. They were administered intramuscular deslorelin (1.25 mg) to induce ovulation, and 24 hours later, they were inseminated either twice (group DI), four times in relatively short intervals (group MISI) or four times in relatively long intervals (MILI), after division of one commercial insemination dose (either frozen-thawed or chilled-warmed semen) into two or four portions, respectively. Uterine sampling for bacteriological and cytological analysis was conducted directly before the first insemination and 24 hours after the last insemination. Results Mares of the MI groups showed a higher pregnancy rate with frozen-thawed semen than mares of the DI group. There was no difference in bacteriological and cytological results between the three groups. In addition, mares of the MISI group showed less intrauterine fluid accumulation 24 hours after the last insemination than mares of the DI and MILI groups. Conclusion and clinical relevance We suggest that multiple periovulatory inseminations with frozen-thawed semen in a close time frame to ovulation lead to an increase of pregnancy results per cycle, and that they do not lead to impaired inflammatory reactions of the uterus in healthy fertile mares.
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