The aim of this study was to determine the development, location, and size of the urinary bladder during the fetal period. The study was performed on 149 human fetuses between 9 and 40 weeks of gestation. The location of the urinary bladder with respect to transverse plane between the highest point of pubic symphysis and the sacral promontory and median sagittal plane was first determined. The dimensions and the angle of the urinary bladder were measured, and bladder shapes were determined. In addition, the edges of the vesical trigone were measured. There was no significant difference between sexes for any of the parameters (P > 0.05). A significant correlation was observed between all parameters and gestational age (P < 0.001). The urinary bladder was located above the transverse plane in most of the cases (83%) and in the median sagittal plane in every case. It was determined that the angle of bladder did not change and the mean value of the angle was 151 degrees during the fetal period. Bladder was categorized into four different shapes (ellipsoid, round, cuboid, and triangular), and the most common shape found during the fetal period was cuboid. The vesical trigone was an isosceles triangle during the fetal period. The new data provided by this study will enable evaluation of the development of the fetal urinary bladder, and should be useful in several fields such as anatomy, fetopathology, medical imaging, obstetrics, and pediatric urology. Clin. Anat. 21:683-690, 2008. (C) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.