Treatment of anovulatory/anoestrus conditions in cattle

Treatment is based on:

  1. Improvement in energy status- optimal nutrition during the transition period and during early lactation.
  2. Hormonal treatments- combined with increased energy supplementation or reduced suckling stimulus may also help to stimulate oestrus.

If possible treatment should be matched to the type of anovulatory condition:


Most important is to base treatment on improving oestrus detection:

  1. knowing what to look for
  2. allowing enough observation time
  3. frequent observations
  4. easy identification of individuals
  5. good fertility records
  6. Possible use of milk progesterone kits.

The control of oestrus and ovulation by the use of prostaglandins, gonadotrophin-releasing hormone or progestagens may ameliorate some of the problems of oestrus detection by helping the farmer to detect oestrus within a defined period. See Oestrus Management for more information.


Anovulation with follicle growth up to the emergence stage

In these cases treatments with GnRH usually have no effect, as the follicles on the ovary do not have adequate LH-receptors to respond.

FSH/PMSG treatment combined with improved nutrition can increase follicle growth.

  • Start with PMSG (Folligon):
    - 500-850 iu per cow of bos taurus type and crosses
    - 300-350 iu per cow of bos indicus type
  • Once the follicular growth is increased GnRH (eg. Receptal; 2.5-5ml) can be used to stimulate maturation and ovulation of the dominant follicle.
  • Do not breed/AI in the first oestrus


Anovulation with follicle growth up to deviation phase

Dairy cows

Click here for Ovsynch protocol
  • Ovsynch protocol
    - GnRH stimulation + induction of ovulation.
    Click on thumbnail sketch for protocol.
  • Modified Ovsynch protocol- second GnRH replaced by hCG (e.g. Chorulon; 1.500 IU).

Dairy cows can be successfully treated with simple or modified Ovsynch protocol as many anovulatory dairy cows have follicles of sufficient size and ovulatory capacity but do not have an LH surge.


Beef cows
In beef cows, an improvement in energy status and/or reduction in suckling stimulus can increase LH pulses and in combination with progestagen therapy reduce time to first ovulation.

  • Progestagen treatment(e.g. Crestar+ Folligon)
    Increases LH pulse and provides progestagen priming necessary for normal luteal function after the induced ovulation.


cow and calfrectal examination

Uterine palpation via rectal examination


Information for vets about products for the treatment of anoestrus in cows.