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Concentrations of luteinising hormone and progesterone in pregnant and non-pregnant heifers
  1. JF Roche,
  2. JJ Ireland,
  3. MP Boland and
  4. TM McGeady


An experiment was conducted to determine if concentrations of luteinising hormone or progesterone were different in pregnant or non-pregnant heifers for seven days before and 20 days after a successful or non-successful insemination. Heifers with an oestrous cycle length of 18 to 24 days only were used and they were bled at 08.00, 16.00 and 24.00 each day for seven days before and for 20 days after insemination with thawed semen (treatment 1) or semen diluent (treatment 2). Animals allocated to treatment 3 had the embryo nonsurgically flushed from the uterus at days 10 to 12 while animals allocated to treatment 4 were inseminated with semen diluent and then had a viable embryo transferred to the uterus between days 10 and 12. All animals were slaughtered between 19 and 21 days after insemination and pregnancy rate determined. There were no differences in basal luteinising hormone levels between treatments. Blood concentrations of progesterone were not different before insemination and for 16 days after insemination for pregnant (11 out of 15) and non-pregnant heifers (14) allocated to treatments 1 and 2. Between days 17 and 20, progesterone concentrations declined in non-pregnant heifers. Transfer of an embryo to non-pregnant heifers on day 10 to 12, did not affect progesterone concentrations, but non-surgical flushing of the embryo caused a decline in blood concentrations of progesterone. It was concluded that basal blood concentrations of luteinising hormone and progesterone, in samples taken three times daily were not different in pregnant or non-pregnant heifers before and for 16 days after insemination.

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