A prospective randomized study was undertaken in order to further investigate the effect of intrauterine saline amnioinfusion for the relief of repetitive variable decelerations in the first stage of labor. Intrauterine saline amnioinfusion corrects the oligohydramnios that makes the cord more vulnerable to compression during uterine contractions. Included in this study were 96 patients who had repetitive variable decelerations not relieved either by changes in position or by oxygen. Randomization resulted in 49 patients in the infusion group and 47 patients in the noninfusion group. Relief of variable decelerations was 51% in the infusion group, as compared to 4.2% in the noninfusion group. Relief of variable decelerations was more dramatic in the nulliparous infusion group (66.7%) than in the noninfusion group (0%). In the nulliparous patients there was a significant decrease in the rate of cesarean sections for fetal distress, being 14.8% in the infusion group as compared to 47.6% in the noninfusion group. This study clearly showed that saline amnioinfusion is a logical, simple, safe, and effective therapy for the relief of repetitive variable decelerations in the first stage of labor and can lower the incidence of cesarean sections for fetal distress in nulliparous patients. Furthermore, amnioinfusion was much superior to changes in position in treating repetitive variable decelerations.