Embryo Collection Services
Superovulation and embryo collection (Flushing)
Superovulation is the most commonly used method to produce multiple embryos from a single female and is a great tool for increasing the number of offspring produced from genetically valuable donor animals. Diamond K offers super-ovulation and embryo collection procedures at your farm or at our donor housing facility.
How it works:
Superovulation: Donor cows are given a series of 8 shots of FSH over 4 days to super-stimulate the donor. This process will result in multiple follicles developing and maturing. On the fourth day of shots, the donor cow is given a dose of prostaglandin, which will result in the donor coming into heat (estrus) about 48 hours later. Twelve hours post heat the donor will ovulate multiple (super-ovulate) oocytes (eggs) as a result of the super-stimulation. At this time the donor should be AI’d (artificially inseminated) and fertilization with take place in the uterus of the cow (in vivo).
Flushing: Seven days after heat, a uterine flush is done to retrieve the embryos. After collection, the embryos evaluated for maturity stage and quality grade. At this time, the viable embryos can be transferred fresh into synchronized recipient cows or frozen for transfer at a later date.
We collect donors for IVF by-weekly at our facility near Rochester. Trans Ova Genetics will be doing all our IVF lab work.
How it works:
Super-stimulation: Donor cows are given a series of 4 shots of FSH over 3 days to super-stimulate the cow. This process will result in multiple follicles developing and maturing.
Aspiration: Two days after FSH treatment, the donor cows are aspirated. Aspiration is the process of collecting the oocytes (eggs) directly off of the cow’s ovary. This process differs from flushing in that the oocytes (eggs) are collected from the maturing follicles before they are allowed to ovulate into the cows uterus. Aspirations are performed with an ultrasound guided needle.
IVF (in vitro fertilization): After the oocytes are collected via the aspiration process, they are cultured for 24 hours before being fertilized. Once the embryos are fertilized, they are matured in culture for another 7 days.
Fresh Ship Program: After culture, the embryos can be shipped to Diamond K Genetics for transfer into your recipients.
Flushing vs. IVF:
- Less up front costs for the flushing procedure
- Embryos can be frozen
- Donors can be flushed on farm or at our donor facility
- Allows the use of reverse sorted* semen on almost any sire
- Donors can be collected every two weeks
- Pregnant donors can be collected from about 40 to 100 days pregnant
- Some donors that don’t work well with conventional ET will work well in IVF
*(reverse sorted semen is the process of sexing a straw of previously frozen semen)
Dr. Bigalk is “Certified” by the American Embryo Transfer Association and export approved by the European Union which allows embryos collected and frozen by Diamond K Genetics to be exported worldwide.
Our ability to export embryos allows our clients another avenue for merchandising their embryos. With Minnesota’s TB status upgrade the ability to ship embryos over seas will be greatly improved for Minnesota cattle producers. Diamond K Genetics has exported embryos to the EU, Japan, Australia, Canada and South America.
We offer over 10 years of reproductive ultrasound experience. With ultrasound we are able to accurately detect pregnancies at 26 days, diagnose twins and determine the sex of a 60-90 day fetus with 99% accuracy.