Equine Embryo Transfer Techniques Compared
Equine embryo transfer is a delicate and an expensive process. Not only is the embryo itself fragile, but the traditional technique can be challenging even for experienced veterinarians. To help reduce the risk of pregnancy failure, scientists developed a transfer technique that’s more likely to lead to a healthy pregnancy regardless of the technician’s experience level. But does that new method improve pregnancy rates? Researchers recently compared the two to find out.
The “Wilsher” technique, in which forceps grasp the cervix with the aid of a vaginal speculum, results in a higher successful pregnancy rate of up to 10% compared with experienced practitioners using the conventional technique and up to 30-40% with less experienced practitioners, said Juan Cuervo-Arango, DVM, PhD, of the Utrecht University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, in The Netherlands.
“I think the success of this technique is due to the fact that veterinary surgeons spend less time fiddling around with the cervix trying to pass the embryo transfer pipette as they do during the conventional technique, because the forceps straighten the cervix and makes it easier to pass the pipette,” Cuervo-Arango said. “It’s not totally foolproof, since the operator needs to know about the anatomy of the cervix and know how much force to apply to the forceps, but of course it requires much less
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