Ovum pick up (OPU) is the collection of one or more oocytes by transvaginal ultrasound guided aspiration.
The horse is sedated, locally anesthetized and gets painkillers and she gets antibiotics preventively. OPU is possible all year. The purpose of OPU is to fertilize oocytes, by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
– If the mare has oviduct problems
– If the mare has uterine problems, such as adhesions or large cysts
– Subfertile mare and / or stallion
– Deceased stallion with scarce frozen semen
– If the mare has just died and you still want offspring of the mare
All follicles of 1 cm or larger can be punctured and aspirated. There will be flushed fluid into the follicle several times. With the needle we scrape the wall of the follicle. After OPU, the follicular fluid will be filtered with flush medium. Then the oocytes can be found under the stereo-microscope, and they will be washed in SOF holding medium. After that, the oocytes in cumulus cells can go on transport, to the ICSI laboratory, in SOF medium. The ICSI laboratory is Avantea, in Italy. At the ICSI lab, the oocytes have to mature in maturation fluid, in good climatic conditions. The maturation period is 24-36 hours.