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Uterine involution

obovis

Introduction

  • Uterine involution is the process by which the uterus reduces in size after parturition .
  • Complete uterine involution is necessary in order that the cow can conceive again.
  • The uterus will not return to its initial size prior to pregnancy, ie the uterus of a nulliparous heifer is smaller than that of a primiparous animal even after uterine involution is complete.
  • Uterine involution typically takes around 40 days (studies show 25 and 55 days) to occur in healthy cows.
  • Uterine involution occurs in a decreasing logarithmic scale.
  • The uterus of a healthy cow decreases in weight from around 9.5 kg immediately post-partum to approximately 1 kg after 3 weeks.
  • Processes involved in uterine involution include:
    • Physical reduction in size of the uterus.
    • Remodeling of the endometrium and myometrial tissues.
    • Reduction in the bacterial contamination in the lumen of the uterus.
  • Periparturient disease will generally slow uterine involution.
  • Pharmacological interventions in healthy animals do not speed uterine involution.

Reduction in the size of the cervix

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Reduction in the size of the uterus

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Remodeling of the uterine tissues

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Reduction in bacterial contamination

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Factors which can delay uterine involution

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Barrett A J, Murray R D, Christley R M, Dobson H & Smith R F (2009) Effects of the administration of oxytocin or carbetocin to dairy cows at parturition on their subsequent fertility. Vet Rec 165 (21), 623-626 PubMed.
  • Sheldon I M, Noakes D E, Rycroft A, Pfeiffer D U & Dobson H (2002) Influence of uterine bacterial contamination after parturition on ovarian dominant follicle selection and follicle growth and function in cattle. Reproduction 123 (6), 837-845 PubMed.
  • Sheldon I M, Noakes D E, Rycroft A, Pfeiffer D U & Dobson H (2002) Influence of uterine bacterial contamination after parturition on ovarian dominant follicle selection and follicle growth and function in cattle. Reproduction 123 (6), 837-845 PubMed.
  • Sheldon I M, Noakes D E, Rycroft A & Dobson H (2001) Acute phase protein responses to uterine bacterial contamination in cattle after calving. Vet Rec 148 (6), 172-175 PubMed.
  • Sheldon I M, Noakes D E & Dobson H (2000) The influence of ovarian activity and uterine involution determined by ultrasonography on subsequent reproductive performance of dairy cows. Theriogenology 54 (3), 409-419 PubMed.
  • Baumann H & Gauldie J (1994) The acute phase response. Immunol Today 15 (2), 74-80 PubMed.
  • Kaidi R, Brown P J, David J S, Etherington D J & Robins S P (1991) Uterine collagen during involution in cattle. Matrix 11 (2), 101-107 PubMed.
  • Tian W & Noakes D E (1991) Effects of four hormone treatments after calving on uterine and cervical involution and ovarian activity in cows. Vet Rec 128 (24), 566-569 PubMed.
  • Tian W & Noakes D E (1991) A radiographic method for measuring the effect of exogenous hormone therapy on uterine involution in ewes. Vet Rec 129 (21), 463-466 PubMed.
  • Griffin J F, Hartigan P J & Nunn W R (1974) Non-specific uterine infection and bovine fertility. II. Infection patterns and endometritis before and after service. Theriogenology (3), 107-114 PubMed.
  • Gier H T & Marion G B (1968) Uterus of the cow after parturition: involutional changes. Am J Vet Res 29 (1), 83-96 PubMed.

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