Gender does not affect fetal heart rate variation

Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1998 Dec;105(12):1312-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1998.tb10011.x.


There is a widespread but erroneous view among the lay public that there is a difference in the baseline fetal heart rate between male and female fetuses. It has been suggested that this perception might reflect an actual difference in fetal heart rate variability. Therefore, we studied the fetal heart rate variation in 79 white European women using the Sonicaid System 8002 computer. Fourty-four of the fetuses were male and 35 were female. There was no significant gender difference in any measured aspect of fetal heart rate variation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Rate, Fetal / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex*