Ovarian Status

In cattle, buffaloes, horses, deer, sheep, and goats, the later stages of follicle development in the ovary occur in a wavelike pattern during the estrous cycle. In pigs, follicle growth is continuous during the cycle.[6] Each wave is characterized by the simultaneous emergence of a cohort of follicles and the establishment of one (cow) or more (sheep and goats) dominant follicles that continue to develop to ovulatory size, while apparently suppressing the growth of other antral follicles in the cohort. This is in contrast to events in the pig, where growth of ovulatory-

size follicles is limited to the follicular phase of the cycle. It is clear from many studies that the presence of large dominant follicles at the time of gonadotropin administration adversely affects superovulatory response.

One technique receiving considerable attention is the use of hormonal treatments to synchronize the follicular wave in cattle prior to initiating superovulation. Gonad-otropin treatment at the time of emergence of a follicular wave has been found to be optimal. Although there is variability in the timing of emergence of the second follicular wave, most traditional superovulatory protocols begin between days 8 and 12 of the estrous cycle in order to synchronize with the second follicular wave.

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