Effect of spermatozoal concentration and number on fertility of frozen equine semen. Academic Article uri icon


  • Information on the number of motile spermatozoa needed to maximize pregnancy rates for frozen-thawed stallion semen is limited. Furthermore, concentration of spermatozoa per 0.5-mL straw has been shown to affect post-thaw motility (7). The objectives of this study were 1) to compare the effect of increasing the concentration of spermatozoa in 0.5-mL straws from 400 to 1,600 x 10(6) spermatozoa/mL on pregnancy rate of mares, and 2) to determine whether increasing the insemination dose from approximately 320 to 800 million progressively motile spermatozoa after thawing would increase pregnancy rates. Several ejaculates from each of 5 stallions were frozen in a skim milk-egg yolk based freezing medium at 2 spermatozoal concentrations in 0.5-mL polyvinyl-chloride straws. Half of each ejaculate was frozen at 400 x 10(6) cells/mL and half at 1,600 x 10(6) cells/mL. Insemination doses were based on post-thaw spermatozoal motility and contained approximately 320 x 10(6) (320 to 400) motile spermatozoa or approximately 800 x 10(6) (800 to 900) motile spermatozoa. Sixty-three mares were assigned to 1 of 4 spermatozoal treatments (1--low spermatozoal number, low concentration; 2--low spermatozoal number, high concentration; 3--high spermatozoal number, low concentration; 4--high spermatozoal number, high concentration) and were inseminated daily. Post-thaw spermatozoal motility was similar for cells frozen at both spermatozoal concentrations (P > 0.1). One-cycle pregnancy rates were 15, 40, 28 and 33%, respectively, for Treatments 1, 2, 3 and 4. Packaging spermatozoa at the high concentration tended to increase pregnancy rates vs packaging at the low concentration (37 vs 22%; P = 0.095). Furthermore, when the lower spermatozoal number was used, there tended (P < 0.1) to be a higher pregnancy rate if spermatozoa were packaged at the higher concentration. There was no increase in pregnancy rates when higher numbers of motile spermatozoa were inseminated (27 vs 31%; P > 0.1). Based on these results, a single 0.5-mL straw dose containing 800 x 10(6) spermatozoa should be used and each insemination dose should contain approximately 320 x 10(6) motile spermatozoa. Fertility trials utilizing other freezing extenders are necessary before recommending a single 0.5-mL insemination dose for all freezing extenders.

published proceedings

  • Theriogenology

author list (cited authors)

  • Leipold, S. D., Graham, J. K., Squires, E. L., McCue, P. M., Brinsko, S. P., & Vanderwall, D. K.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Leipold, SD||Graham, JK||Squires, EL||McCue, PM||Brinsko, SP||Vanderwall, DK

publication date

  • January 1998