Seminal plasma beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-HCG) levels were determined in 254 semen samples collected from fertile and suspected subfertile men, and their relationships with seminal characteristics and spermatozoal fertilizing capacity were evaluated. Radioimmunoassayable beta-HCG, as defined by greater than 5 mIU/ml concentration, was demonstrated in only 44.5% of all the samples studied. beta-HCG concentrations were similar in normospermic, oligospermic and azoospermic samples. There were no significant differences in beta-HCG concentration between high-motility and low-motility samples, between normal-morphology and abnormal-morphology samples, and between high-fertilizing capacity and low-fertilizing capacity samples. No significant correlations between the concentrations of beta-HCG and individual parameters of semen analysis and spermatozoal fertilizing capacity among the various groups of samples were observed. The physiological role of seminal plasma beta-HCG is presently uncertain and the relationship of its determination to male fertility requires further investigation.