Non-surgical embryo transfer in pigs

W. Hazeleger

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


<p>Embryo transfer in pigs has been performed surgically for a long time. However, a less invasive, non-surgical, procedure of embryo transfer could be a valuable tool for research (to study embryo survival and embryo-uterus interactions) and practical applications (export, prevention of disease transmission and prevention of long distance transport of animals). Therefore the aim of this study was to develop non-surgical procedures for the collection and transfer of porcine embryos which can be used for both practical and research purposes.</p><p>The development of these procedures was expected to give insight in factors which are important for embryonic survival. Non-surgical (trans-cervical) embryo collection appeared to be possible from sows with surgically resectioned uterine horns. On average 8 embryos were collected from these sows. After superovulation induction the average but variable yield was increased to 18 embryos. Non-surgical (trans-cervical) transfer of embryos to non-sedated recipients appeared to be possible. A pregnancy rate of 60% and a litter size of 11 foetuses on Day 35 of pregnancy was realised.</p><p>These results appeared to be dependent on the asynchrony between donor and recipient sows and on the development of the transferred embryos. Donor sows with a high preceding litter size, produced the highest number of transferable embryos. On a certain moment after ovulation the best developed embryos resulted in the highest pregnancy rates. No relations between characteristics of recipients, like age or previous litter size, with pregnancy rates were found. Also no relations between scores of the procedure of embryo transfer (like resistance in the cervix, duration of the procedure, etc.) and pregnancy results were found. Therefore factors affecting embryonic development and their survival after non-surgical transfer need further attention.</p>
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Noordhuizen, J.P.T.M., Promotor, External person
  • Kemp, Bas, Promotor
Award date29 Jun 1999
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789058080721
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • pigs
  • sows
  • uterus
  • resection
  • embryos
  • embryo transfer
  • embryo mortality
  • embryonic development
  • pregnancy rate
  • farrowing rate
  • litter size
  • reproductive performance
  • superovulation
  • reproduction


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