Ovum Pick up - Bovine

The Ovum Pick Up technique involves the transvaginal recovery of the oocytes by aspiration of the ovarian follicles with the aid of an ultrasound probe. This procedure is totally harmless for the donor and it takes about 15-20 minutes, during which the donor is contained in a cattle crush. The recovered oocytes are selected in the laboratory and transferred in a medium suitable for the completion of maturation. The day after the collection, the oocytes are fertilized in vitro with the semen of the chosen bull and they are held in incubator for about a week until they reach the stage of suitable embryo (morula or blastocyst) for the transfer into recipients or for freezing and to be transferred at a later stage.

What are the advantegs?

  • All heifers and cows are suitable donors, even during the first three months of gestation.
  • Oocyte collection can be repeated several times, twice a week;
  • Each group of oocytes can be fertilized with the semen of a different bull, allowing to obtain groups of embryos from the same donor but with different paternity in a very short time.
  • On average 1-2 embryos can be obtained per collection in heifers and 3-4 for cows.
  •  There is no need for hormonal treatment, no interference with milk production, nor possible side effects of superovulation (infertility, ovarian cysts, drop in milk production, trauma derived from altered behavior induced by hormonal superstimulation).
  • On certain donors affected by long term infertility Ovum Pick Up can even have a therapeutic effect by removing the ovarian cysts that often are present on the ovaries, also as a consequence of repeated superovulations; in many cases those animals can be successfully inseminated after the OPU collection cycle.
  • All donors return to oestrus 7-10 days after the last OPU collection.



And its application..

The application of the Ovum Pick Up and embryo production techniques are increasing worlwide: from 30,000 embryos transferred in 2000 to over 300,000 in 2012, a tenfold increase in the past decade.

The number of bovine embryos transferred worldwide is shown in the figure to the right*. The number of embryos produced by superovulation and transferred in 2000 (around 520,000) has gradually increased until 2006 to decrease afterwards and come back to the baseline level in 2009 and it has increased then in the following years. A decrease in number of embryos produced in vivo has been reported in 2012 (blue line). In the meantime, the number of in vitro produced embryos has increased of about tenfold, from 30,000 to over 300,000 in 2012 (orange line).
This world statistics demonstrates the rising application of the in vitro technologies of embryo production and their more and more important role in selection programmes and for the diffusion of cattle breeds across continents.

*Data of the International Embryo Transfer Society, Newsletter December 2013, www.iets.org 

The Ovum Pick Up service is available at our premises in Cremona. Prior agreement, the collection can be done at the farm.

FAQ Bovine Ovum Pick Up

For more information contact us.

All Avantea embryos are in possession of health requirements for both domestically and abroad marketing as required by Directive 556/89 / EEC and subsequent amendments.