Textbooks of Obstetrics & Gynaecology: A Comparative Review

DC Dutta's Textbook of Obstetrics cover
As a part of my comparative review series of all textbooks for undergraduate medical subjects, I am adding this article about Textbooks of Obstetrics and Gynaecology which are best content wise, most read by students, recommended by seniors and professors and are available in the market.


 DC Dutta’s Textbook of Obstetrics by Hiralal Konar (Recommended)

This is without any doubt the best book for Obstetrics available in the market. It is highly detailed, easy to understand and widely used and recommended for all students and teachers. This book is excellent in all aspects, a textbook needs to be and there is no book even comparable to it. Even many Postgraduate (PG) students of MD/ MS/ Diploma Obstetrics and Gynaecology read this books for knowledge and for preparation in exams. I remember once an Orthopedic surgery resident joking that “Only difference between Orthopedics and Obstetrics & Gynaecology PG medical residents is that ObGy resident even complete their PG by reading Dutta”.

Sheila Balakrishnan - Textbook of Obstetrics Paras Medical Publishers

Text Book Of Obstetrics by Sheila Balakrishnan: Paras Medical Publisher (Recommended)

This is a book which was given to me by Paras Medical Publishers as a review copy. I had not heard of this book or the author before getting this book. The book is a very good book which gives all the topics of obstetrics in enough details needed for any UG level exams. Many topics are very well explained in graphical forms and the diagrams are much better and colorful compared to the ones given in Dutta. I was surprised to see topics in teenage pregnancy given in this book, which is very appreciable as this is a very common encounter in the obstetrics wards and OPDs nowadays. Also, it gives MCQs at the end of the topic, which might be useful for students to know kind of MCQs which might be asked in the exams.Text in this book might not be as detailed as Dutta, but the representation is excellent, easy to understand and given in an organized manner. I think students who do not want to read a book like Dutta should definitely buy this book.

Essentials of Obstetrics by Arulkumaran Sabaratnam, V Sivanesaratnam, Alokendu Chatterjee, Pratap Kumar

Oxorn Foote Human Labor and Birth by Glenn Posner, Amanda Black, Griffith Jones, Jessica Dy (Recommended)

I still remember taking xerox of this book because it was not available anywhere. Excellent book
for understanding labor and human birth. It explains each and every aspect of delivery in very well explained detail, which makes it a classic book. There is no better alternative to this book and it is a must read, especially the normal delivery part.

Clinical Obstetrics by Menon M

I haven’t read this book personally as never felt any need to refer any book other that Dutta. Students could have a look at this book for reference purpose if needed.

Williams Obstetrics by F. Gary Cunningham, Kenneth J. Leveno, Steven Bloom and Catherine Y. Spong

This is a PG level textbook of Obstetrics and not recommended as primary source of reading for any UG medical student. It should only be used for occasional reference purpose and nothing else.

Shaw’s Textbook of Gynaecology by Shirish N. Daftary and V.G. Padubidri (Recommended)

This is the book I used to read for my UG exams preparation. A very nicely detailed book and covers all topics needed in UG medical exams in concise way. Only downside of this book is that it gives details in essay format and not pointwise which could make it difficult to recollect in exams.

Textbook of Gynaecology by D. C. Dutta, Hiralal Konar (Recommended)

This is an alternative to Shaw’s Gynaecology but not used by most students because of too much details given in it and students don’t read it because of time constraints. Students should use it for reference purpose and to read topics which needs more detailed understanding.

Gynaecology : Prep Manual for Undergraduates by V. G. Padubidri, Ela Anand

Never had a look at this book personally, so would recommend students to have a look at it in library to see it’s contents.

Berek and Novak’s Gynecology by Jonathan S. Berek

This is a PG level textbook and should only be used for reference purpose if needed. Just like William’s obstetrics this book should not be used for primary source of reading.


Practical Obstetrics & Gynecology by Ajit Virkud (Recommended)

This is book for practical aspect of Obstetrics and Gynaecology which gives various aspects of practicals like instruments, sutures, drugs, procedures etc in very detailed way. Highly recommended for practical purpose.

100+ Clinical Cases in Obstetrics by Shirish N. Daftary

100+ Clinical Cases in Gynaecology by Shirish N. Daftary


Practical Manual of Obstetrics by Rupali Modak, Amitava Pal

If students have more recommendation or have points to add to those I have mentioned please comment below.

Updated on 28-12-2015


  1. Avatar
    Mohamed March 24, 2016

    Any alternative for shaw’s Gynaecology? Gynaecology Prep Manual for Undergraduates by V. G. Padubidri only old edition(2005) available..no more new edition..can I read or prefer any other book for Gynaecology?

      • Avatar
        Dhivakar Kishan September 20, 2016

        Hi sir… For practical obs gynae…is ajit virkudh a good book.. Coz i read dutta and shaw.. Also my exam is in 3 months.i just want a fast forward quality book for obs gynae practical

  2. Avatar
    Ashutosh Agarwal June 13, 2016

    Respected sir
    I am a ug student @surat. I am reading dutta for obs but not able to retain thing as well as understand topics. I have two other books mudaliar and menon and sheila balkrishnan in my clg lib. So which among thw two is better acc to u. And if u have any other book suggestions plz give.. Need help final yr midway.

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