In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

IVF is a relatively new technique within the UK, but is a widely used method of producing embryos in the rest of the world, and is now used as a replacement for traditional MOET in these countries. Our IVF technique stems from a programme in New Zealand which sees around 5000 IVF embryo’s implanted annually with a proven record of success.

Advantages of IVF

  • Accelerates embryo production from the best donor cows in a herd
  • Oocytes can be collected from the same cow on a weekly basis (Compared to 3 - 4 weeks for MOET)
  • Donors are not subject to any hormonal drugs / programming.
  • Less Labour required compared to MOET
  • A single straw of semen can be used to inseminate oocytes from 5 - 7 cows (three straws per donor for MOET). This is a huge advantage where semen is very expensive
  • Allows greater flexibility in the use of different sires
  • Collections can be taken four weeks post calving and potentially collected from early pregnant cows
  • Collections can be taken at any stage in the donors oestrous cycle
  • Relatively quick oocyte collection from the ovaries (approximately 15 mins)

What is IVF?

IVF is the process of creating embryo’s from oocytes (unfertilised egg) by fertilizing them with semen in a petri dish. The oocytes are removed from the cow using a non-surgical method called TVR (Trans-Vaginal recovery). TVR is an ultrasound guided method that collects oocytes from the ovaries of the donor. The collected eggs are then returned to the lab to be matured and fertilised in a petri dish. Oocytes are then cultured and developed in an incubator for seven days, at which point the resulting viable embryos are transferred into recipients or are frozen. Conventional or sexed frozen semen can be used to fertilise the eggs. On average you get nine oocytes per session resulting in three freezable /transferable embryos per session.

To collect the oocytes the donor is given an epidural and the ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina to enable the vet to view the ovaries. A fine needle is then passed into the ovary and the oocytes are aspirated into a collection tube. An average of nine oocytes are collected per cow, but ranges from 0-70+, and around 25-35% of oocytes collected will produce a viable embryo.

No drugs are required for stimulation, and collections can be done once per week, as soon as 4 weeks after calving, and even continued when the cow/heifer is in calf. The collection process is fairly quick, and with a good set up, we would expect to collect from 3-4 cows per hour.

Our Centres

AB Europe - Malvern centre
01531 651 210

AB Europe - Edinburgh centre
01875 614 500

AB Europe - Northern Ireland
07967 764 132

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