The effect of postbreeding uterine lavage on pregnancy rate in mares

S. P. Brinsko, D. D. Varner, T. L. Blanchard, Stuart A Meyers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


One stallion and 54 mares were used in an experiment to evaluate the effect of postbreeding uterine lavage on pregnancy rate in mares. All mares were inseminated with 250 × 106 progressively motile sperm every other day during estrus until detection of ovulation. Mares (n = 18) were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: 1) no postbreeding uterine lavage (control); 2) uterine lavage at 0.5 h postbreeding; or 3) uterine lavage at 2 h postbreeding. A dilute solution of povidone-iodine (PIS; 0.05%) previously determined to render spermatozoa immotile in vitro was used to lavage the mare uteri. One liter PIS, prewarmed to 40°C, was used for each lavage. Pregnancy status of mares was determined at 21 d and 36 d post ovulation, using transrectal ultrasonography. The pregnancy rate of Group 1 (66.7%) was higher than that of Group 2 (22.2%; P<0.05) or Group 3 (33.3%); P<0.10). The pregnancy rates of Groups 2 and 3 were similar (P>0.70). Evaluation of endometrial biopsies obtained from a separate set of mares (n = 3) on Day 6 post ovulation, both before and after uterine lavage, revealed no difference in the accumulation of inflammatory cells, suggesting adverse effects of lavage on fertility may have been due to excessive removal of spermatozoa from the uterus during the lavage process or damage to oviductal spermatozoa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-475
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • fertility
  • mare
  • post breeding
  • uterine lavage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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