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5 Oct 2020

Semen storage and insemination technique

The chances of insemination leading to impregnation depend on factors such as the technique behind the insemination procedure. How the semen is handled, both while in storage and when it is to be used, is important for the viability of the semen. The insemination technique ensures correct insertion of the semen and that the animal is not infected with bacteria during the insemination procedure.


Classifying the problem

If the impregnation rate is low, this can be due to the quality of the semen and/or the insemination technique. There is no clear indicator to show whether or not everything is in order, so an evaluation of the insemination technique should be performed including an evaluation of heat signs and insemination conditions in the stall.



If the insemination procedure is unsuccessful, there are four points that are especially important to review:

  • The semen should be handled such that the semen quality is not impaired. Make sure there is nitrogen in the flask and a minimum of 12 cm of nitrogen measured from the bottom of the flask. Condensation must not form on the outside of the flask, as this is a sign of leakage.
  • The semen should be thawed correctly. Semen should be thawed in water at 35-37 degrees. Conventional semen is thawed for 6-7 seconds while sexed semen should be thawed for 25 seconds.
  • After thawing, the semen must not be exposed to a temperature drop. Position the inseminators with semen close to your body to enable the temperature to be maintained. It can be beneficial to allow the temperature of the semen to rise slightly. Thawed semen should be used within 15 minutes.
  • Insemination of the animal should be performed correctly. Wipe the sheath before inserting the inseminator. The sheath opens, so the inseminator can be inserted without transferring any germs from the sheath. The inseminator should be inserted carefully through the cervix to avoid injury to the uterus. Once the inseminator is through the cervix, it is in a small area called the body of the uterus. It is in this 1-2 cm area that the semen is to be placed.

Points for action plan

Check that the semen flask is intact and the nitrogen level in the flask is as it should be. The entire process, from thawing of the semen to insemination of the animal can be performed together with an inseminator or vet, so the procedure can be adjusted as necessary.


Focus on

  • Correct handling of semen
  • Good thawing procedure and handling of thawed semen
  • Good insemination technique