A method of continuous monitoring of fetal intravascular PO2 at various sites in the circulation in the chronically catheterized fetal sheep for up to 41 days (mean 11.1 days) has been compared with values obtained in blood samples measured extracorporeally in a standard blood gas analyzer. A double-blind comparison of the two methods showed that there was no bias between the two methods and correlation was 0.94. The stability of the electrodes was superior to that of a conventional blood gas analyzer. In every animal there was continuous variability of fetal vascular PO2. In the period from 105 to 126 days' gestation we noted the presence of slow increases in basal uterine tone that we have called "contractures". The frequency of these contractures was very regular at approximately one per hour. The frequency of these contracutres was very regular at approximately one per hour. There is a statistically significant related fall in fetal vascular PO2 in relation to these contractures. Well-coordinated uterine contractions during labor also produced a fall in fetal vascular PO2 that was related to the uterine activity.