To investigate the influence of fetal sex on maternal testosterone levels throughout pregnancy, blood was sampled from 37 healthy pregnant women from week 14 until term and at 6 weeks postpartum. Testosterone concentrations were measured with a highly specific RIA after chromatographic purification. Mean (+/- SD) testosterone at the end of gestation was significantly higher compared to non-pregnant values (3.10 +/- 2.38 mM/l, n = 32 vs 1.14 +/- 1.06 nM/l, n = 35). It appeared that in women carrying a male fetus testosterone levels gradually increased during pregnancy up to 3.99 +/- 2.72 nM/l. In women carrying a female fetus the levels decreased after the first trimester from 2.44 nM/l to 1.80 nM/l. A statistically significant difference (P less than 0.01) existed in maternal testosterone concentrations between both groups during the second half of pregnancy.