The aims of this study were to determine the factors that affect follicle size at the time of artificial insemination (AI) and to detect the relationship between ovulatory follicle size at the time of AI and pregnancy rate in dairy cows. A total of 1428 follicle size measurements were obtained from Holstein-Friesian (HF) and Swedish Red (SR) cows that were inseminated with the fixed-timed AI protocols used in this study. Follicle size was affected by breed (P - 0.0001), milk production (P - 0.01), parity (P - 0.05), and season (P = 0.04). Follicle size was greater (P = 0.0001) in the HF (15.55 mm) than the SR cows (14.88 mm). Multiparous cows had larger (P = 0.04) follicles (15.35 mm) than the primiparous cows (15.07 mm). Cows with follicle sizes between 13.5 and 17.5 mm were more likely to be pregnant than cows with other sizes follicles (P < 0.01). Embryonic loss was lower (P < 0.01) in cows with follicle sizes between 13.5 and 16.5 mm. Thus, the follicle size was affected by breed, milk production, parity, and season. Pregnancy and embryonic loss in lactating dairy cows were significantly related to follicle size.