||BACKGROUND: We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis of perinatal variables in relation to testicular cancer risk, with a specific focus upon characteristics of the mother. METHODS: EMBASE, PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases were searched using sensitive search strategies. Meta-analysis was undertaken using STATA 10. RESULTS: A total of 5865 references were retrieved, of which 67 met the inclusion criteria and contributed data to at least one perinatal analysis. Random effects meta-analysis found maternal bleeding during pregnancy [odds ratio (OR) 1.33, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.02-1.73], birth order (primiparous vs not, 1.08, 95% CI 1.01-1.16; second vs first, OR 0.94, 95% CI 0.88-0.99; third vs first, OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.83-1.01; fourth vs first, OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.69-0.94) and sibship size (2 vs 1, OR 0.93, 95% CI 0.75-1.15; 3 vs 1, OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.74-1.07; 4 vs 1, OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.62-0.90) to be associated with testicular cancer risk. Meta-analyses that produced summary estimates which indicated no association included maternal age, maternal nausea, maternal hypertension, pre-eclampsia, breech delivery and caesarean section. Meta-regression provided evidence that continent of study is important in the relationship between caesarean section and testicular cancer (P = 0.035), and a meta-analysis restricted to the three studies from the USA was suggestive of association (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.07-2.56). CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review and meta-analysis has found evidence for associations of maternal bleeding, birth order, sibship size and possibly caesarean section with risk of testicular cancer.