One hundred and ninety three consecutive pregnant women attending peripheral antenatal clinics attached to Ngwelezana Hospital, Empangeni, Kwa-Zulu, were examined for evidence of sexually transmitted pathogens. The following incidences were found: Trichomonas vaginalis 49.2% (95), Candida spp 38.3% (74), Chlamydia trachomatis 11.4% (22), Gardnerella vaginalis 6.2% (12), Neisseria gonorrhoeae 5.7% (11), positive syphilis serology results 11.9% (23), hepatitis B surface antigen 4.1% (eight). No woman had antibody to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Dyskaryotic smears were found in 20 (10.4%). Human papillomavirus (HPV) was detected cytologically in 11 (5.7%). The range of sexually transmitted pathogens found in this rural community was similar to that found in urban groups studied in South Africa.