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The effects of progesterone treatment following artificial insemination on the reproductive performance of dairy cows

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The objective of this study was to examine the effects of increasing circulating progesterone in multiparous Holstein cows, using an intravaginal progesterone implant between days 3 and 7 following fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI). The animals were randomly assigned into two groups: (1) treatment group and (2) control (no treatment). The experiment took place during periods of high and mild temperatures. Pregnancy rates were evaluated by ultrasound at 30 and 60 days after FTAI; embryonic and fetal mortality rates were also evaluated on these dates. The temperature and humidity index on the day of FTAI were different (P < 0.05) during the times of interest, but it did not affect conception rates. Neither the conception rates at days 30 and 60 nor the embryonic and fetal mortality rates differed between the groups during either the high- or mild-temperature periods (P > 0.05). Throughout the experimental period, the serum progesterone concentration was higher in the treatment group than in the control (P < 0.05). We conclude that the intravaginal progesterone implant inserted from days 3 to 7 following FTAI had no effect on conception rates at days 30 and 60 or on embryonic or fetal mortality rates but enhances the serum progesterone concentrations following treatment in multiparous Holstein cows during high- and mild-temperature periods.

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Special thanks are given to the Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciência e Tecnologia Goiano, employees and business partners on the project.

Authors' contributions

All the authors contributed equally to the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Thaisa Campos Marques.

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Marques, T.C., Leão, K.M., de Oliveira Viu, M.A. et al. The effects of progesterone treatment following artificial insemination on the reproductive performance of dairy cows. Trop Anim Health Prod 46, 405–410 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-013-0504-2

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  • Conception rate
  • Holstein cows
  • Steroid hormones
  • Embryonic mortality
  • Fetal mortality