Endocervical cultures for Neisseria gonorrhoeae were taken from 4,285 new patients attending the emergency room and outpatient clinics at Women's Hospital, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center. Of these, 144 (3.4%) were positive. Clinic-specific rates were: emergency room 9.0%, family planning clinic 2.3%, therapeutic abortion clinic 2.2%, and prenatal clinic 1.0%. An additional 70 return patients were cultured because of history, symptoms, or signs suggestive of gonorrhea; 14% of these "nonscreen" cultures were positive. Rates for the emergency room and nonscreen category were significantly greater than rates from the clinics. A questionnaire was used to determine patient characteristics in an attempt to identify a high-risk population. Variables of age, race, marital status, history of previous veneral disease or pelvic infection, number of sexual partners, and suspicion of venereal disease were significantly related to the incidence of positive cultures. Obstetrical history and symptoms of cramping or discharge were not related.