In obstetrics and gynecology, as in other medical disciplines, great satisfaction comes from doing, but a greater satisfaction comes from knowing. The desire to know raises clinical practice to its highest level. This principle guided us in determining the objectives for this volume. Several standard textbooks of obstetrics and gynecology include information about infectious problems. Infectious Diseases in the Female Patient is unique in that it emphasizes primarily the basic science as pects of infections in obstetrics and gynecology. Although providing a practitioner's handbook was not our goal, the reader nevertheless will find discussions of the management of infections in the female pa tient. The continued growth of knowledge about infectious disease en countered in obstetrics and gynecology has come from many sources: bacteriology, virology, genetics, immunology, biochemistry, physiol ogy, and pharmacology. Insights from all these disciplines contribute to the conceptual framework of this volume. Many of the authors who contributed to this text are leaders in their respective areas of research and bring to the book a diversity of ex pertise and experience. Controversial issues are developed in a bal anced fashion, and, in most cases, opposing views are discussed. Since medical texts usually are read piece-meal rather than cover to cover, we have allowed some overlap between chapters. The slight degree of redundancy allows each chapter to stand on its own, so that the reader may obtain the necessary information from a single chapter.