In ovine species, transcervical artificial insemination (TCAI) is limited by the poor quality of frozen–thawed semen and by the convoluted cervical lumen hampering the passage of inseminating devices. The aim of the study was to test the efficiency of three newly designed catheters with bent tips of 3.5 mm, 5.0 mm or 8.0 mm in terms of reproductive performances (experiment 1) and to compare the results of TCAI with the best performing catheter of experiment 1 to those obtained in ewes submitted to surgical incision of cervical folds (SICF) prior to insemination (experiment 2). The following parameters were assessed: time to pass the cervix; depth of cervical penetration; site of deposition of semen; pregnancy (PR); and lambing rates (LR). The results of experiment 1 indicated that the 5.0 mm tip catheter resulted in deeper and faster TCAI and higher PR and LR compared to 3.5 mm and 8.0 mm tip catheters (p < 0.05). In experiment 2, TCAI with the 5.0 mm catheter did not differ from TCAI after SICF in terms of depth of semen deposition, time to pass the cervix, PR and LR (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the use of a catheter that allowed transcervical uterine deposition of semen without excessive manipulation led to satisfactory pregnancy rates.
The design of a new catheter for transcervical artificial insemination in ewes / Falchi, L.; Zedda, M. T.; Pau, S.; Ledda, M.; Melosu, V.; Rassu, S. P. G.. - In: ANIMALS. - ISSN 2076-2615. - 11:12(2021), p. 3348. [10.3390/ani11123348]