Pregnancy rate after fixed-time transfer of cryopreserved embryos collected by non-surgical route in Lacaune sheep
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This study investigated the feasibility of applying fixed-time (cryopreserved) embryo transfer in ewes. Embryos (n = 106) were non-surgically recovered from superovulated donors (n = 39) on day 6–7 after oestrus. Straws containing one or two embryos (morulae and/or blastocysts) subjected to either slow freezing (SF, n = 62) or vitrification (VT, n = 44) were randomly used within fixed-time embryo transfer on Day 8.5. Recipient ewes were nulliparous (n = 58) bearing corpora lutea after synchronous oestrous induction protocol. The pregnancy rate was higher (p =.03) in SF (39.4%) than VT (16.9%) and survival rate tended (p =.08) to be higher in SF than in VT (25.8% vs. 15.9%). Lambing rates were similar (p =.13) between SF (20.9%) and VT (15.9%). Embryos recovered by non-surgical route after cervical dilation treatment and later cryopreserved by either slow freezing or vitrification produced reasonable pregnancy rates after FTET.