Motility lifetime studies yield new insights into conception
Motility describes the ability of a sperm cell to propel itself through the movement of its flagellum. In a typical semen sample, only a fraction of cells are able to propel themselves successfully – this is described by the % progressive motility. To successfully fertilise an egg, the sperm must be motile at the time it reaches the oocyte, typically between 45 minutes to 12 hours after insemination. At this point the sperm cell swims in conditions that are very low in oxygen and must remain motile in order to swim through the outer layers of the oocyte.
Thanks to its underpinning and innovative technology for precise measurements, the Dynescan is the only semen analyser capable of measuring the sustained motility lifetime of a semen sample. A proprietary algorithm developed by Dyneval performs measurements automatically, ensuring that results are independent of the user and can be performed by anyone who can load samples following best practice, thus bringing lab-quality results to the farm. The Sustained Motility Lifetime (SML) is the time at which the peak % progressive motility falls below a threshold. More details can be found in Dyneval’s technical details document.
A research study performed by independent vets showed that the conception rates for batches with a SML longer than two hours was 47.07% compared with 39.37% for batches observed for a SML less than two hours, yielding an advantage of 7.8%. This on-farm study involved 28 batches of semen, inseminated into over 2,000 cows in seven herds. Dyneval is working with customers to expand this research study and invites further participants.
Using an independently developed Return on Investment (ROI) calculator, for an all year round calving herd of 200 cows, the benefit of increasing conception rates by 7.8% results in a financial saving of £8,204 (£41/cow), assuming the industry standard of a £5/per day cost of delayed conception. Promar Milkminder dairy costings show that feed costs rose by 37.6% from November 2021 to November 2022, exerting more pressure on dairy farmers to run an efficient business.