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Academic writing

Over the past fifteen years Caroline has been involved in research and peer-reviewed publications in many different areas:

  • The health of Indigenous women and babies

  • The health of immigrant women and babies

  • Vitamin D levels of pregnant women in tropical regions

  • Maternal mortality and morbidity

  • The many different aspects of caesarean section

  • Abortion services and abortion law reform

  • The health of asylum seeker women

  • The history of obstetrics and gynaecology


Find out more about Caroline’s recent academic writing with The Cairns Institute.

Caroline is also the first author of a popular textbook for undergraduates published by McGraw-Hill, Clinical Cases in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women’s Health which has now appeared in two editions : 2009 with Dr Paul Howat, and 2013 with Professor Stephen Robson and Associate Professor Boon Lim. She has also published with Paul Howat Caesarean Section – a manual for doctors, Australasian Medical Publishing. In 2022 Caroline published Clinical Cases in Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Women’s Health co-authored with Professor Robson, Associate Professor Lim and Dr Kiarna Brown.


Other non-fiction health titles

de Costa C. Tying the Tubes -A guide for women considering sterilisation. Hale and Iremonger, Sydney: 1990. (Also translated into Bahasa Malay.)

de Costa C. All About Hysterectomy -The operation and the alternatives. Wild and Woolley, Sydney: 1994.

de Costa C. Sensible Decisions -A guide to hysterectomy and other surgery for women. Wild and Woolley, Sydney 1999.

Moore M, de Costa C. Cesarean Section –Understanding and celebrating your baby’s birth. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore: 2003. Also translated into Chinese.

Moore M, de Costa C. Do You Really Need Surgery? A guide to hysterectomy and other procedures for women. Rutgers University Press, Piscataway, USA:2004.

de Costa C. Moore M. Dick – a guide to the penis for men and women. Allen and Unwin, Sydney:2003; Marlowe, New York: 2004.(Also translated into Spanish.)

Moore M, de Costa C. A Woman’s Concise Guide to Common Medical Tests. Rutgers University Press, Piscataway, USA: 2005.

Moore M, de Costa C. Mid Life – New Life: Pregnancy and Parenting After 35. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore:2006.

de Costa C. RU486 – The Abortion Pill. Boolarong Press, Brisbane, 2007.

de Costa C. Hail Caesar – why one in three Australian babies is born by caesarean section.

Boolarong Press, Brisbane: 2008. Shortlisted for Queensland Premier’s Literary Prize for Science Writing.

de Costa C. Never ever again – why Australian abortion law needs reform. Boolarong Press, Brisbane, 2010.

de Costa C, Miller F. The Diva and Doctor God – letters from Sarah Bernhardt to Doctor Samuel Pozzi. Xlibris, Bloomington Indiana, 2010; also published in French as Sarah Bernhardt et le Docteur Pozzi, Editions Glyphe, Paris, 2013.

Book Chapters


de Costa C. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease 2002; MIMS Current Prescriber Series, 2002 and 2010.

de Costa C. Abortion and the sexual health physician. In Russell D, Bradford D, eds. Sexual Health Medicine, 2nd edition, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne: 2010.

de Costa C. Miscarriage; Induced abortion; Contraception. In Goh J, Flynn M eds. Examination Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Elsevier, Chatswood NSW: 2010.

de Costa C. Carrette M. Early medical abortion. In Rowlands s ed. Abortion Care, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014.

de Costa C. Anatomy of the female genital tract. In Symonds I, Arulkumaran S. Essential Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Elsevier, London, 2014.

Critical Essays on Medico-Social Topics and Medical History

de Costa C. Hysterectomy – A personal view. Med J Aust 1992; 157:707-8

de Costa C. A gynaecological view of history. Med J Aust 1995; 163:622-3

de Costa C. Consanguineous marriage and its relevance to obstetric practice. O&G, September 2001.

de Costa C. A sort of progress Lancet 1998; 351: 1202-3

de Costa C. A matter of choice Lancet 2000; 355: 648-50

de Costa C.A place on the map Lancet 2001; 357:878-79

de Costa C. Out of the shadows Med J Aust 2001;175:331-2.

de Costa C. Flora’s Legacy Lancet 2001, 358: 2162-3.

de Costa C. ‘Toward a healthy conservatism’ – the early history of hysterectomy O&G


de Costa C. Medico-legal commentary – Caesarean section Australian Doctor 26-10-02

de Costa C. Saving Grace Med J Aust 2002;177:673-4 (MJA Christmas Prize)

de Costa C. Dr and Mrs Papanicolaou – a short history of cervical cytology O&G 2003;1:23-24.

de Costa C, Doherty J, Walker N. Leaving a mark on history – the career of Hermann Johannes Pfannenenstiel O&G 2003;3:206-08.

Robson S, de Costa C. Vaginal birth after caesarean section O&G 2004; 6 (3): 191-2.

de Costa C. Rural women’s access to termination of pregnancy. O&G 2005;1:58-60.

de Costa C, Breeze C. Indigenous women and cervical cancer.O&G,2005;3:28-29.

de Costa C, Howat P. The ‘difficult’ caesarean section. O&G 2006;1:54-57.

de Costa C. A bloody business: a short history of placenta praevia. O&G 2006;3:36-38.

de Costa C. Snow- at Christmas – the career of Dr John Snow Med J Aust 2007;187:690-2.

de Costa C. Should medical students deliver babies? O&G 2008;1:30-35.

de Costa C. ‘Holding a mirror to life’ – Molière, William Harvey and the circulation of the blood. O&G 2009;3:42-44.

de Costa C, Miller F. Sarah Bernhardt’s Missing Leg Lancet 2009 25;374284-5.

de Costa C. Childbed fever. O&G 2009;1:45-46.

Robson S, de Costa C. Forceps delivery: Science wears its art on its sleeve. O&G 2009;4:19-20.

de Costa C, Russell D, Carrette M. Abortion in Australia: still to emerge from the 19thcentury Lancet 2010;375:804-5.

de Costa C. The sometimes painful history of the Pouch of Douglas. O&G 2011; 13(3): 50-52.

de Costa C. Robert Proust: a gynaecologist’s contribution to world literature, Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2013; 170 (1):47-9

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