The aim of this study was to use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by amplifying DNA from bovine (Bos taurus) fetal cells recovered through uterine puncture and subsequent amniotic fluid aspiration and to compare the effectiveness of the PCR method with amniotic dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels in gender determination. Amniotic DHT levels between sexes were significantly higher in males than in females in all periods except the period 91 to 120 d. The differences among the amniotic DHT levels at different gestation periods (61 to 90, 91 to 120, 121 to 150, 151 to 180, 181 to 210 d) were not significant in females but were significant in males in the period 61 to 90 d compared with three other periods. Sensitivity was equal to 97.8% (95% CI = 88.2% to 99.6%), and specificity was equal to 85.4% (95% CI = 80.0% to 97.6%). These two values correspond with a cutoff of DHT in amniotic fluid. Distributions of the two sex groups were classified according to the 192.1 pg/mL cutoff value. A total of 93 amniotic fluid samples were examined by PCR analysis. The sex determination of 91 samples by PCR and electrophoresis was in agreement with the visual sexes of the fetuses. In two amniotic fluid samples, DNA was not isolated, and thus no sex determination was made. Fetal gender was correctly identified by PCR in 44 of 45 males and in 47 of 48 females. in PCR, one band (at the length of 102 bp) and two bands (at the lengths of 102 and 226 bp) were observed respectively for female and male fetuses. It may be concluded that the levels of amniotic DHT and PCR might be used for embryo sexing in pregnant cows. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.