Transcervical Insemination (TCI) is a method of insemination which utilizes a video endoscope to visualize and catheterize the cervix. This endoscopic method is an excellent technique to use for any type of semen, whether it be fresh, chilled or frozen. Since the semen is deposited directly into the uterus, this allows the sperm cells to conserve their energy for penetration and fertilization of the eggs instead of wasting their energy making their way up the length of the reproductive tract of the bitch. Poor quality semen can benefit from this technique. It is also recommend for those who do not wish to elect for a surgical insemination for a frozen semen breeding.
TCI is usually performed twice during the fertilizable window of the bitch, so two breeding units are usually used as opposed to a surgical insemination, which is performed once and uses one breeding unit of frozen semen. TCI allows visualization of the cervix, however, it does not allow visualization of the uterine horns and ovaries. If a bitch has uterine cysts or other conditions that could be managed with visualization of those structures, surgical insemination would be beneficial. Some bitches, as well as maiden bitches, can have anatomical challenges that may prevent catheterization of the cervix. In these cases, a surgical insemination may become necessary, or a “deep post cervical AI” may be elected.
There is a small window of opportunity to successfully catheterize the cervix, so good ovulation timing is essential. We can discuss which option might be most appropriate for your bitch when we see you for her pre-breeding physical.