Hello and welcome to this blog which is about women’s health and well-being. There’s not going to be too much about exercise, diet, food, cosmetics, vitamins or yoga. Those things are all good, but here we are going to talk about the unmentionables, “women's troubles”, “secret women’s business”. You get the idea.

My name is Melissa Slattery, I am a gynaecologist, and I thought it would be good to share some of the knowledge I’ve acquired both formally and simply from talking to thousands of women over 25 years of specialist practice.

As women we often have the same or similar health concerns pop up at some time in our lives but, chances are, not at the same time as those who act as our main source of reassurance and solace- our friends. So if your girlfriend looks at you blankly when you mention over a coffee that you wet yourself every time you lift the stroller into the back of the car, it’s not that you alone in the world have this problem, it’s just that right now she hasn’t got this problem. And yet, statistically, there’s a one in five chance that she will (have the bladder problem, not the stroller), but neither of you know that and right now you’re feeling pretty alone.

I hope that discussing these sorts of issues openly, in this blog for instance, helps spread the word about what’s common, what’s normal or not normal, and what you can do about it. I also think it is really important to make the distinction between what is common and what is normal (urinary incontinence is common but not normal) and what is common and also normal but still not good (heavy periods is at the top of my list).

Here are my top 5 things that every woman should have heard something about:

1.     How to get rid of problem periods.

2.     What happened to pubic hair and why it matters.

3.     Sex and the single girl.

4.     Getting pregnant, how to avoid doing it again, and why.

5.     Trouble with the downtown- prolapse and incontinence crash course.

And then there’s

6.     The perimenopause and how it can mess you up.

7.     The secrets to better aging are really no secret.

So over the next few months we will talk about these and some other things. This is going to be call it as you see it advice, full of non-individualised generalizations, should be fun. Feel free to comment!