Transcervical Insemination (TCI) is a technique in which a rigid endoscope is used to locate the cervix and pass a catheter through it for intrauterine insemination of frozen semen without the need for the surgery. An endoscope (essentially a tiny video camera) is passed up the vaginal canal of a bitch and to the cervix. The inseminator is able to watch the positioning of the catheter on a TV monitor to which the endoscopic view is shown. The actual insemination can be visualized, ensuring that the deposition of semen is in the uterus and that minimal back flush occurs.
There is a risk of trauma or infection. Trained and experienced manipulation of the endoscope and catheter should not cause a problem with the cervix or vaginal wall unless a pathologic condition already exists. During estrus and at the time of insemination, the vaginal walls are thicker and less susceptible to trauma. Vagina is not a sterile environment and multitude of bacteria lives there. During this time the increased resistance to infection is produced by body's natural defences. Therefore, infections caused by this technique are rare if proper sanitation of equipment and stringent quality control are adopted.
Also, some argue that it is cheaper because no surgical materials and often no qualified veterinarian is required to perform TCI. Basically, the main advantage of the scope is the fact that it is a non-surgical way of insemination with mainly frozen semen. Some might argue that it is less invasive but it is still a selective procedure which has risks to the female.
Here at Trade Genetics, we have performed hundreds of transcervical inseminations and firmly believe that a surgical implant (the way it is done in our veterinary clinic) is a better choice for the breeders. We were the first veterinary surgery to perform endoscopic inseminations in Ireland in 2006. Let's once again have a look at what the transcervical insemination is, why some breeders might prefer it and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of it in real life.
DISADVANTAGES OF TRANSCERVICAL INSEMINATION?
Successful clinics insist on using double or almost double of the amount of the frozen semen for an endoscopic insemination as opposed to a surgical implant. Some breeders might be obliging to provide that with no extra charge but others would require extra payments for double the amount of the frozen product.
Also, inability to assess the uterus for potential fertility issues such as cysts in the uterine lining or other problems with uterine horns. We cannot manipulate or rupture uterine cysts, observe adhesions or evaluate the situation more inclusive.
It is highly recommended NOT to thaw semen until the uterine condition analysed and assessed as optimum to be such that a pregnancy will result from a breeding. This is not something we can assess if we are not handling the uterus surgically. Often, the semen is thawed prior to catheterising a female and a bitch is bred whether the conditions were favourable or not so.
Often a surgical implant is recommended after analysing the situation with a scope and breeders will chose Plan B in order to have a successful breeding.
It has been an ongoing debate about both types of inseminations. There are pros and cons in both and it is up to you decide which method you prefer. Trade Genetics are happy to provide both services to our customers and we apologise to those who might have thought we do not perform TCIs because our main method is surgical and we have been known for it. Karl Stortz has been in our clinic since 2006. It is nothing new or innovative for us and it is available if you prefer it.
Historically, the conception rates are 15-20% lower for endoscopic procedures as compared to surgical inseminations across the breeds and sires but it is very hard to evaluate any more accurate.
Our truly new addition is a semen analyser. Now you can take a picture or a video of your dog's semen to share with a potential breeder or keep it for your own records. A lot of people find it fascinating to watch it or share. Most just use it as proof that their sire is fertile and has an enormous stud dog potential.