Effect of a single injection of progesterone on ovarian follicular cysts in lactating dairy cows

T. B. Hatler, S. H. Hayes, L. H. Anderson, W. J. Silvia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the effect of a single injection of progesterone on the lifespan of ovarian follicular cysts and to examine the fate of follicles that mature following treatment. Lactating Holstein and Jersey cows with ovarian follicular cysts were identified by rectal palpation. The ovaries of cystic cows were then examined by transrectal ultrasonography three times weekly to monitor formation of new follicular cysts. Cows with newly formed follicular cysts were treated either with a single injection of progesterone (200 mg, IM, n = 11) or corn oil vehicle (n = 7). Venous blood samples were collected daily for quantification of progesterone. Blood sampling and ultrasonography continued until ovulation or a new follicular cyst formed. Treatment reduced the lifespan of the cyst by 12 days, from 29.8 ± 2.3 days in control cows to 17.2 ± 1.8 days in progesterone-treated cows (P = 0.01). Progesterone treatment also tended to alter the frequency of subsequent follicular events. Ovulation occurred in 4/11 cows that were treated with progesterone whereas none of the vehicle treated cows ovulated (P = 0.07). In conclusion, a single injection of 200 mg of progesterone, administered early in the life of an ovarian follicular cyst, shortened its lifespan and in some cases was followed by ovulation of a new follicle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-333
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank F. Button and the University of Kentucky farm crew for assistance in the care of the cows on these experiments along with A. Nugent, D. Ray and D. Yelton for assistance in data collection. This research was supported by USDA (00-35203-9174), the Kentucky Artificial Breeders Association (KABA/Select Sires), and the Kentucky Agriculture Experiment Station. It is published with the approval of the director (Publication Number 04-07-157).


  • Bovine
  • Cyst
  • Follicle
  • Ovary
  • Progesterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Veterinary (all)


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