A pool of polyurethane sponges impregnated with medroxyprogesterone acetate (MAP) was prepared. Real level of progestagen on sponges was checked prior to sponge treatment insertion. During spring a total of 126 cyclic Merino ewes were intravaginally treated with MAP-impregnated pessaries for the synchronization of estrus. After 14 days treatment, sponges were removed. Estrus detection was performed with vasectomized rams. Ewes were inspected for the presence of marks twice a day. Ewes in estrus were artificially inseminated with fresh diluted semen containing a dose of 300x10(6) total sperm. Artificial insemination was performed 12 hours after estrus presentation. Residual levels of MAP (RMAP) on removed sponges were measured by spectrophotometry at 241 nM and examined in relation to their estrus response and fertility. Real dose of MAP was in average 54 mg. RMAP found on sponges following treatment were in average 25.00 ± 0.84 mg. Percentage of estrus synchronization was 92.86% and pregnancy rate was 50.43%. There were no significant differences for RMAP between ewes with (24.70 ± 0.86 mg) and without (28.89 ± 3.65 mg) estrus response (p>0.10). There were also no significant differences for RMAP between pregnant (25.56 ± 1.25 mg) and non-pregnant (23.83 ± 1.18 mg) ewes (p>0.10). It was concluded that the 60 mg MAP dose conventionally used for estrus synchronization in ewes is higher than the amount uptaken by the females.
Ewes; Estrus synchronization; Medroxyprogesterone acetate; Fertility