The OPU/ICSI/IVC technique can be applied to the following groups of mares:
- Mares that do not yield satisfactory results with normal embryo flushings.
- Mares that are in sports and you want to produce offspring from them.
- Mares that have uterine problems and therefore have difficulty becoming pregnant and/or maintaining pregnancy.
- It provides the possibility to use sperm from stallions that are rare or have poor sperm quality.
Registration of donor mares for ICSI
Mares can be registered for ICSI by phone at Hurkmans ET (Hans Hurkmans, +31 6 389 197 83) and Veterinary Center Someren (Tilly Spierings). Before we begin the procedures, we will send you a confirmation of the order and a patient registration form. Once we have received the completed forms, we will schedule your mare for the OPU/ICSI session. Three to four days prior to this scheduled date, your mare needs to be scanned by a veterinarian to assess whether there are enough follicles present on the ovaries. If this is the case, the procedure will be carried out as planned.
OPU (Ovum Pick-up)
With OPU, oocytes are suctioned from the ovaries using a transvaginal probe and subsequently searched and evaluated for quality. The OPU sessions take place at the Hurkmans ET donor station in Bakel. OPU has the best results when your mare is in the transitional phase of her cycle, which means that there are many small follicles present on her ovaries. This is usually the case in the spring and fall. Further procedures with the retrieved oocytes take place in the laboratory of Hurkmans ET.
After the oocytes have undergone a maturation process, they are evaluated for suitability to apply ICSI. With ICSI, the stallion's sperm is first pre-treated and prepared. By means of micromanipulation, a sperm cell from the stallion is inserted into the mare's ovum.
In Vitro Culture: after the ICSI procedure, the fertilized eggs are cultured for a week in an incubator. After approximately seven days, the resulting embryos can be transplanted fresh or, if desired, frozen and transplanted at a later time. The outcome of this technique strongly depends on the donor mare and stallion.
In addition to OPU/ICSI/IVC, we offer the possibility to retrieve eggs from ovaries of mares that need to be euthanized, and fertilize them through ICSI. This way, we may still be able to generate embryos from your mare. For this, the ovaries need to be delivered to the laboratory of Hurkmans ET by appointment.