Gestation length in swine has a considerable amplitude and both early and delayed parturition are common. This variation increases the occurrence of unassisted farrowing and could lead to a wide-ranging age at weaning for piglets born from one batch. Supervision of sow parturition is crucial to reduce mortality of neonate piglets. To facilitate assistance, induction of farrowing using prostaglandin F2α(PGF) has been widely used in batch farrowing systems, whereby synchronization would concentrate the time of farrowing, allowing for better organization of employees. However, a viable alternative method that can be implemented to manage farrowing is to sustain high progestagen levels in the final days of gestation and, consequently, prevent early parturition. Efficient techniques to delay farrowing such as using oral progestagen supplementation have been previously described, but are only recently being considered for commercial use. The present manuscript reviews publications regarding delaying parturition and discusses the use of intravaginal devices (IVDs) containing progestagen. There is limited data addressing the effect of progestagen treatment during gestation on productive and reproductive performance. Therefore, future studies should focus on improving synchronization protocols following progestagen supplementation and evaluating piglet viability and sow fertility, before widely using progestagen supplementation to manipulate parturition.
Haas, C. S., Santos, M. Q. dos, Rovani, M. T., Santos, J. T. dos, Mellagi, A. P. G., Bortolozzo, F. P., … Gonçalves, P. B. D. (2017). Suplementação de progestágenos no pré-parto em suínos: Estratégia para facilitar assistência aos leitões e evitar partos precoces. Ciencia Rural, 47(11). https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-8478cr20170380