The aim was to evaluate the effects of mastitis, determined by the pattern and level of somatic cell count (SCC) around first artificial insemination (AI), on conception rate (CR). Data from 287,192 first AI and milk records covering a 7-yr period were obtained from the Israeli Herd Book. Analyses examined the association of probability of conception with SCC elevation relative to timing of AI, using generalized linear mixed models. A SCC threshold of 150,000 cells/mL of milk was set to distinguish between uninfected cows and cows with mastitis. Accordingly, cows with high SCC before and low SCC after AI were designated cured, those with low SCC before and high SCC after AI were designated newly infected, and cows with high SCC before and after AI were designated chronic (likely subclinical) mastitic cows. Compared with uninfected cows, the cured, newly infected, and chronic subgroups showed reduced CR (39.4±0.1, 36.6±0.2, 32.9±0.3, and 31.5±0.2, respectively). In the chronic, subclinical group, probability of conception was lowered by 14.5% in the mild and moderately elevated SCC subgroups and by 20.5% in cows with high SCC elevation compared with the uninfected group (CR of 29.7 vs. 39.4%, respectively). A single high elevation of SCC (>10(6) cells/mL on only 1 milk test day) lowered the probability of conception by 23.6% when it occurred during the 10 d immediately before AI, but not when it occurred earlier. For 30 d after AI, probability of conception was lowered by about 23%, as reflected in a CR of about 27% compared with the uninfected group. Probability of conception was lowered in cows with uterine and foot health problems (33.9%), in multiparous cows (34.1%), and in cows in the summer (29.1%), but no interactions with mastitis were detected. Results indicate that SCC elevation around AI, typical for subclinical mastitis, was associated with a significant reduction in probability of conception, and that even mild SCC elevation reduced CR. Severe elevation of SCC before AI, typical for clinical intramammary infection, reduced the probability of conception.