WHAT IS IVF?
IVF is the process of harvesting unfertilized oocytes directly from the ovaries of a donor cow or heifer. These recovered oocytes are then fertilized with semen in a petri dish one day after aspiration and develop in an incubator to become embryos 7 days after fertilization.
Oocytes are first collected from the ovaries by ultrasound-guided follicular aspiration. The oocytes are then matured for 24 hours and then fertilized in a petri dish. After fertilzation the embryos are incubated for 7 days during which embryonic development takes place. After the 7 days the resulting viable embryos are then transferred into recipients or frozen.
There are several reasons which make IVF advantageous compared to conventional flushing including:
Potential to obtain embryos from donors that do not respond to conventional flushing.
Collection from donors can occur every two weeks.
Pregnant donors can be collected from up to 90-150 days pregnant.
Can collect heifers before or after breeding which allows breeders to accelerate genetic improvement.
Can use only one straw of semen on multiple donors.