Poor estrus expression and a prolonged intercalving interval compromise the reproductive efficiency of female buffaloes. These limitations are exacerbated during the hot season, when fertility decreases dramatically. Pregnancy rate decrease further because difficulties in detecting estrus. To improve reproductive efficiency, several protocols of estrus and ovulation synchronization have been developed. These procedures are based on manipulating the CL, either to induce premature luteolysis using prostaglandins or to prolong the luteal phase using progestagens. However, it has recently emerged that a more precise manipulation of follicular development may be needed to achieve better synchrony of ovulation and improve fertility. Researchers have therefore turned their attention to evaluating programs in which hormones such as GnRH, FSH, LH, eCG, hCG, prostaglandins, progesterone and estradiol are administered. This review considers the impacts of estrus and ovulation synchronization protocols on fertility in the buffalo. In general, it may be stated that buffaloes respond well to the exogenous administration of hormones, and artificial insemination is possible at a pre-established time after synchronizing ovulation. Most combined hormone protocols give satisfactory pregnancy rates, comparable to those achieved in animals inseminated at natural estrus.
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