Reasons for performing study: Mares are occasionally encountered that consistently fail to conceive when inseminated, naturally or artificially, with fertile stallion semen in the absence of any identifiable pathology of either the structure or function of their reproductive tract.
Hypothesis: Temporary blockage of the oviducts by accumulations of naturally occurring oviducal masses may be preventing oviducal transport of the embryo to the uterus.
Methods: Mares, with known reproductive histories, that had exhibited inexplicable failure of conception were treated by laparoscopically guided administration of PGE2-laced triacetin gel directly onto the surface of their oviducts.
Results: Fifteen mares age 10–21 years that had exhibited inexplicable failure of conception during 1–4 years were treated, of which 14 (93%) conceived within the same or subsequent breeding season.
Conclusions: The high success rate of this treatment supports the tentative diagnosis of oviducal obstruction in these mares and indicates that blockage of the mare's oviducts may occur in the form of a moveable accumulation of debris rather than from permanent fibrous adhesions resulting from salpingitis.
Potential relevance: This laparoscopic application of PGE2 to the oviducts constitutes a sound and practical method of restoring fertility in mares suffering oviducal obstruction and further studies involving the procedure are warranted.