Objectives were to determine effects of: 1) handling temperament and administration of flunixin meglumine, an inhibitor of prostaglandin F2a (PGF2a) synthesis, given at the time of embryo transfer, on pregnancy rates in beef cattle embryo transfer recipients; 2) handling temperament and flunixin meglumine on peripheral concentrations of progesterone, cortisol, substance-P, prostaglandin F metabolites (PGFM, (13,14-dihydro-15-keto-PGF2a) and isoprostane 8-epi PGF2a; and 3) flunixin meglumine treatment on proportion of non-pregnant recipient cows returning to estrus within an expected interval. Angus cross beef cows (n = 710) at 7 locations were assigned a body condition score (BCS: 1, emaciated; 9, obese) and a temperament score [0, calm, slow chute exit; walk (n = 352), 1, excited, fast chute exit; jump, trot or run (n = 358)] and were synchronized with Select-Synch with a controlled internal drug release (CIDR) protocol. Estrus detection aids were applied at CIDR removal and cows were observed thrice daily for estrus until 72 h. Recipient cows that expressed estrus and had a corpus luteum received a frozen-thawed embryo on Day 7 after estrus. At the time of transfer, recipient cows were randomly allocated to receive 10 mL of flunixin meglumine im, immediately after transfer (n = 365) or served as an untreated control (n = 345). In a subset of cows (n = 80), ovarian ultrasonography was performed on the day of embryo transfer to determine corpus luteum volume and blood samples were collected twice, at the time of embryo transfer and 7 d later. All cows received estrus detection aids again on Day 14 (7 d after embryo transfer) and were observed for estrus twice daily until Day 24. Accounting for treatment (P > 0.1), embryo transfer difficulty score (P < 0.1), temperament by treatment interaction (P < 0.05), recipient cows with calm temperament had a higher pregnancy rate compared to those with an excited temperament [59.4 (209/352) vs 51.7% (185/358)]. The pregnancy rate for excitable cows without flunixin meglumine was lower (46.3% 81/175) compared to excitable cows that did received flunixin meglumine [56.8% (104/183)], and calm cows that did [59.3% (108/182)] or did not [59.4% (104/170)] receive flunixin meglumine. Proportions of non-pregnant recipient cows returning to estrus on Days 18–24 were not different between flunixin meglumine and control groups, 87.6% (134/153) and 84.0% (137/163), respectively (P > 0.1). At the time of embryo transfer and 7 d later, there were moderate to strong correlations among circulating concentrations of progesterone, cortisol, substance-P, PGFM and isoprostane 8-epi PGF2a. Among excitable cows, progesterone concentrations were lower and cortisol, substance-P, PGFM and isoprostane 8-epi PGF2a concentrations were greater for cows in the control group compared to cows that received flunixin meglumine. In conclusion, administration of flunixin meglumine improved pregnancy rates in excitable recipient cows following embryo transfer without affecting the proportion of non-pregnant cows returning to estrus.