Effects of progesterone pretreatment on fertility of gilts mated at an induced pubertal estrus

K. E. Nephew, H. Cardenas, W. F. Pope*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The effects of progesterone (100 mg/d, im) on pubertal fertility were examined in 247 gilts over 3 experiments. In the first experiment, 128 gilts were exposed to progesterone for 0, 2, 4 or 8 d before receiving PMSG (750 IU) 1 d later. The number of large (>4mm) follicles or corpora lutea (CL) were determined on the day of PMSG injection, Day 0 (onset of estrus), Day 1 or Day 10 (n=8). In the second experiment, embryonic survival was observed in 68 gilts after induction of estrus with PG600 (400 IU PMSG, 200 IU hCG). Vehicle or progesterone was previously administered for 2 d to these gilts, and they were allowed 1, 2, or 3 d between the last progesterone injection and PG600. In Experiment 3, a field trial was conducted in which 51 gilts received vehicle or progesterone for 2 d, followed by a 3-d interval before injection of PG600 to induce estrus. The gilts were allowed to farrow. Treatment with progesterone 1 d before PMSG increased (P<0.05) the number and size of preovulatory follicles and increased (P<0.05) the number of corpora lutea. However, the percentage of gilts pregnant by Day 10, the number of embryos recovered per gilt and embryonic survival were reduced (P<0.05) with progesterone pretreatment. Utilizing a smaller dose of PMSG (750 vs 400 IU) with PG600 negated the effects of progesterone pretreatment on ovulation rate. When the interval between progesterone treatment and PG600 was lengthened to 3 d embryonic survival to Day 30 improved but was similar to that of the vehicle/PG600 treated gilts. Fertility, as defined as conception rate and litter size, was similar between gilts exposed to vehicle or progesterone. These results indicate that pretreatment with progesterone up to the day before PMSG might improve follicular development and ovulation rate at the pubertal estrus with a dose of 750 IU of PMSG but not with the 400 IU (PG600). Reducing the dose of PMSG to 400 IU and allowing for 3 d between progesterone and gonadotropin treatment reduced the incidence of uterine infections but resulted in a fertility rate similar to that of gilts receiving PG600 alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-106
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


  • gilts
  • litter size
  • ovulation rate
  • progesterone
  • puberty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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