Embryo Transfer - Anatomy & Physiology
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Multiple ovulation and embryo transfer has been commercially available since the 1970s, but not widely used because it requires a highly skilled team.
Synchronization of Recipients with the Donor
- GOAL: To synchronize the donor and recipient to be in the same stage of the oestrous cycle.
- REASON: To prepare the uterus of the recipient to support preattachment embryogenesis.
- HOW: Treat recipient with a hormonal regime that induces oestrus to occur at the same time as the donor.
Superovulation of the Donor
- GOAL: To hyperstimulate ovaries with gonadotrophins.
- REASON: To provide higher than normal numbers of follicles that reach dominance and ovulate.
- HOW: Inject donor with gonadotrophins to hyperstimulate follicular development. Generally FSH or one of its analogs is used.
Inseminating the Donor
- GOAL: Inseminate donor with semen from genetically superior bulls. To generate the best fertilisation rates and genetic combinations possible.
- REASON: Enhance rate of genetic progress.
- HOW: Use highly fertile semen and well-trained, experienced inseminators.
Recovery and Identification of Viable Embryos
- GOAL: To nonsurgically collect (flush) embryos from the donor to transfer.
- REASON: To recover viable embryos.
- Before the procedure is started, a local anaesthetic is injected to cause relaxation of the rectum.
- At day 6-8 a specialized catheter has a small balloon that can be inflated to prevent retrogade flow of the flushing medium.
- A flushing medium is then introduced into the uterus, lavaged and returned through the catheter to a collection vessel.
Transfer of Viable Embryos into Synchronised Recipients
- GOAL: To deposit a potentially viable embryo into the uterine horn of each recipient.
- REASON: To achieve pregnancy in each recipient.