e-ISSN : 2347-2677, p-ISSN : 2394-0522
Sudhanshu Pratap Singh, Ankesh Kumar and Nitu Sourya
Heat stress during the summer disturbs reproductive processes in farm animals as it affects the physiology of reproductive tract by several means like hormonal imbalance, decreased oocyte and semen quality, and decreased embryo development and survival. Heat causes decreased secretion of the luteinizing hormone and oestradiol which causes reduced length and intensity of estrus expression, increased incidence of anoestrus and silent heat in farm animals. Oocytes exposed to thermal stress lose its competence for fertilization and development into the blastocyst stage, which results in decreased fertility because of the production of poor-quality oocytes and embryos. Furthermore, low progesterone secretion limits the endometrial functions, and subsequently embryo development. In addition, the increased secretion of endometrial prostaglandin F2 alpha during heat stress threatens the maintenance of pregnancy. The effects of heat stress on livestock can be minimized via adapting suitable scientific strategies comprising physical modifications of the environment, nutritional management and genetic development of breeds that are less sensitive to heat stress. In addition, the summer infertility may be countered through advanced reproductive technologies involving hormonal treatments, timed artificial insemination, and embryo transfer, which may enhance the chances for establishing pregnancy in farm animals.
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