Bovine OPU (Ovum Pick-up) Training Course
Our 2.5-day (20 hour) Ovum Pick-Up (OPU) Course is open to dairy or beef cattle breeders, and veterinarians. It provides you with a foundation of knowledge and hands-on skills for successful implementation of oocyte aspiration and lab techniques within your own dairy or beef herd, or if you plan to offer OPU services to your clients.
Oocyte processing is the most important aspect of OPU and IVF success. Students will learn processing in the lab as well as OPU so they will know the correct method to teach their lab technicians.
Our OPU class is structured to accommodate individuals and teams. Many OPU service providers operate “solo,” performing aspirations while also performing the laboratory scope work. There are also many OPU service providers operating as a team with one person specialized in aspiration, while the other specializes in the laboratory tasks (searching, grading, and extracting COCs, and packing them in an incubator for transit to the IVF lab).
For an additional $750 fee OPU students can bring their technician with them to learn the lab techniques. Technicians can sit through the entire course but cannot participate in any of the arm work labs. If you would like to bring your technician please enroll in the OPU course online and then contact us to get the technician signed up.
The Ovum Pick-up technique involves the transvaginal recovery of the oocytes by aspiration of the ovarian follicles with the aid of an ultrasound probe. This procedure is totally harmless for the donor and it takes about 15-20 minutes, during which the donor is contained in a cattle chute.
The recovered oocytes are selected in the laboratory and transferred in a medium suitable for the completion of maturation. The day after the collection, the oocytes are fertilized in vitro with the semen of the chosen bull and they are held in incubator for about a week until they reach the stage of suitable embryo (morula or blastocyst) for the transfer into recipients or for freezing and to be transferred at a later stage.
What You Will Learn:
- Physiological aspects of OPU / IVF
- OPU collection procedure in live animals
- Correct positioning of ovary & follicles during aspiration
- Oocyte searching and grading, extraction, washing / preparing oocytes (COCs) for shipment to the IVF lab for in-vitro maturation
- Choosing equipment
- Proper equipment assembly
- Equipment troubleshooting and testing
Limited to 4 aspiration students &/or 4 lab students maximum (minimum 3 aspiration students)
This ensures a high level of teacher/student interaction. Certificates are given to students who complete the course and demonstrate an understanding of the theory & practical techniques of OPU.
Key Benefits of OPU
- Using OPU All heifers and cows are suitable donors. You can produce embryos from virgin heifers at the age of 10 months old. Additionally, since IVF does not involve the uterus, pregnant donors can still be collected throughout the first trimester of pregnancy, until day 100-120 of pregnancy, allowing producers to breed genetically valuable donors on time while still capitalizing on creating additional offspring.
- Donor aspirations (OPU) can be performed every two weeks, and semen from different bulls can be used to fertilize each donor, in the event enough oocytes are collected. Allowing the opportunity for greater genetic diversity resulting from one cow along with maximized embryo production.
- Can perform OPU on cows with unpassable cervix's
- Donor cows that have been unable to achieve success with embryo transfers due to blockages, scarring, uterine infections, impassable cervices, overstimulation or because they make unfertilized or degenerate embryos are also good candidates for IVF. On certain donors affected by long term infertility OPU can even have a therapeutic effect by removing the ovarian cysts that often are present on the ovaries, also as a consequence of repeated superovulations; in many cases those animals can be successfully inseminated after the OPU collection cycle.
- There is no need for hormonal treatment, no interference with milk production, nor possible side effects of superovulation (infertility, ovarian cysts, drop in milk production, trauma derived from altered behavior induced by hormonal superstimulation).
- On average 4-5 embryos can be obtained per collection in heifers and 6-8 for cows.
- Most donors return to oestrus 7-10 days after the last OPU collection.
- Using OPU/IVF producers can maximize oocyte fertilization and embryo production with rare, expensive or sexed semen. In advanced labs, only a piece of straw is needed to fertilize donors, not a full straw.
The OPU (Ovum Pick-up) Course is 2.5 days. We go into town each day for lunch.
- Lab/Lecture most of the day learning protocols, donor and recip management, equipment, oocyte processing, and discussion. Will finish up the day working on cows learning equipment and placement of the needle guide for OPU.
- Lab/Lecture for a couple hours but the rest of the day students are in cows practicing probe placement, ovary manipulation, OPU, troubleshooting and all techniques needed to become proficient at aspiration.
The Ovum Pick-Up (OPU) Course is a 2.5 day school. Class starts at 8:00 A.M. each day and finishes at 5:00 P.M. the first two days, and finishes at 1:00 P.M. on the third day.
Students must be experienced in palpation, AI and embryo transfer or have taken the ET course with us.
Our facilities are located in Senatobia Mississippi, just 45 minutes drive from Memphis International Airport. Students flying in to attend our school will need to fly into Memphis International Airport.
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Transportation & Lodging Info
Transportation & Lodging are not included in the cost of the course. If you are flying you will need to fly into Memphis International Airport and rent a vehicle. The training facility is located 35 minutes from the airport. Most students choose to stay in Senatobia or Hernando. However, you may also wish to stay at one of the casinos in Tunica, MS. The closest casinos are the Gold Strike and Horseshoe Casinos, they are located approximately 35 minutes from the school facilities.
Hotels in Senatobia, MS (10 min from training facility)
- Spahn House – (around $125 per night) Phone: 662-288-6851
Hotels in Hernando, MS (20 min from training facility)
- Hampton Inn – (around $115 per night) Phone:662-367-6072
- Super 8 – (around $85 per night) Phone:662-429-5334
- Magnolia Grove Bed & Breakfast – (around $125 per night) Phone:662-429-2626
Hotels in Tunica, MS (35 min from training facility)
- Gold Strike Casino – (starting at $55 per night during the week) Phone:888-245-7829
- Horseshoe Casino – (starting at $55 per night during the week) Phone:800-303-7463
The following is a current list of scheduled course dates:
|5/10/2024 - 5/12/2024
Tuition for the OPU Course is: $3,850.00 US Dollars
(Required Deposit: $1,500)
We Accept the Following forms of Payment:
To register for this course click the below Register button, you will select the date you wish to attend on the registration form. You may add additional courses and products to your cart prior to checkout.
*NOTE: For an additional $750 fee OPU students can bring their technician with them to learn the lab techniques. Technicians can sit through the entire course but can not participate in any of the arm work labs. If you would like to bring your technician please enroll in the OPU course online and then contact us to get the technician signed up.
“Thank you for everything the OPU course was great! I was was able to learn the technique very well. I really recommend the International Embryo Technology School.”
Alejandro Bunsow DVM
"My time was well spent at the International Embryo Technology School, it was one of the best things I have ever done to date."