In the breeding world you may often hear progesterone testing, but you may not understand how or why it needs to be done. Here is a quick progesterone 101.
what is progesterone? Progesterone is a female hormone produced by the ovaries during release of a mature egg from an ovary, called ovulation. Progesterone helps prepare the lining of the uterus to receive the egg if it becomes fertilized by a sperm. Progesterone testing is the most critical part of artificial insemination aside from good semen that coexist well with the extender it is in.
Why does progesterone play an important role in breeding? This allows the breeder to know the exact time the sperm needs to be placed into the female by artificial insemination. This practice is used by all breeders that ship semen and breed using the Artificial Insemination or Surgical Artificial Insemination. The progesterone testing is also a new trend for the traditional “old school” breeder.
When to breed? Breeders will breed the bitch when the progesterone test states. There is an LH surge which will coincide with the first rise in progesterone. Ovulation will usually occur 2 days after the LH surge. The fertile period begins two days after ovulation and lasts about 2 to 3 days. Don’t forget the eggs take about 2 days to mature.
When the semen hits air does it die? No! Fresh semen lives 5 to 7 days. Fresh Chilled Semen lives 24 to 48 hours- occasionally longer if centrifuging and adding fresh extender. Frozen Semen lives 12-24 hours post-thaw.