THE EFFECT OF EXOGENOUS PROGESTAGEN ON THE PRODUCTION OF CERVICAL MUCUS IN THE EWE

in Reproduction

The volume of cervical mucus produced in the ewe appears to be controlled by the circulating levels of oestrogen (Vickery & Bennett, 1968), and is greatest during pro-oestrus and oestrus (Grant, 1934). The volume produced is of the order of 20 ml (Restall, 1967) and in spayed ewes is a linear function of the quantity of exogenous oestrogen (Lindsay & Francis, 1968).

It seems, therefore, that the disturbance in the pattern of oestrogen production in the ewe in which oestrus is controlled with progestagen-impregnated sponges (Smith & Robinson, 1970) may be reflected in the production of cervical mucus and that this could account for the changed pattern of transport of spermatozoa following progestagen treatment (Quinlivan & Robinson, 1967, 1969).

Forty-five Merino ewes, aged 5 years, randomized into three progestagen-dose-level groups of fifteen ewes

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