Department of Animal Science


Date of this Version



2018 Nebraska Beef Cattle Report. University of Nebraska Extension MP105. Lincoln, NE.


© 2017 The Board Regents of the University of Nebraska.


Most bovine estrous synchronization protocols utilize progesterone plus estrogen to control ovulation timing. A drug that inhibits estrogen production (Letrozole) may be an alternative, steroid-free synchronization method (not yet commercially available). However, low estrogen can negatively affect the health of follicles/oocytes and impact fertility. To determine its effects, Letrozole was administered intramuscularly while tracking follicle growth and circulating hormones. Letrozole response was variable. Two of three cows experienced delayed luteolysis/ovulation and extended progesterone production. This preliminary data indicates that Letrozole treatment allows normal follicle progression but drug response may vary and little is known about effects on oocyte quality.