A new, nonsurgical, open-end catheter technique was used to study spontaneous uterine activity around estrus in sows, and the effects of estrogens, seminal plasma, cloprostenol, and clenbuterol on uterine activity. In the first experiment, uterine activity was studied in 14 multiparous, cyclic sows, during one or more estrous cycles, from day −4 to day 4 of the cycle (day 0: first day of standing estrus). From a few days before estrus until estrus, the percentage of sows showing any uterine contractions increased from 55 to 100°and frequency and mean amplitude of uterine contractions for these sows increased from 15 to 22/h, and from 20 to 40 mmHg on average. After estrus, uterine activity decreased. There were large differences between sows in uterine activity, which were consistent over the days of the cycle. In the second experiment, 11.5 g of estrogens in 100 ml saline (n=17), 100 ml seminal plasma (n=5), 1 mg cloprostenol in 100 ml saline (n=10), 0.30 mg clenbuterol in 100 ml saline (n=11), or 100 ml saline (n=5) was infused IU, after recording spontaneous activity. Infusion with saline or seminal plasma did not affect uterine activity. Estrogens increased frequency of contractions. Cloprostenol increased both frequency and amplitude of contractions. Clenbuterol reduced both frequency and amplitude of contractions. In conclusion, this study shows that spontaneous uterine activity in sows is increased around estrus, and it supports the role of estrogens in boar seminal plasma in affecting uterine activity around mating. Further, this study has yielded possible tools to study the relation between uterine activity and sperm transport.