I'm always happy to answer your questions so if you want to know something then please do get in touch. In the meantime, here are a few things I get asked more regularly...

How old are you?
30 something!

Where are you from?
I live in a little village in the Midlands, UK.

Do you work?
After my endometriosis flared up in February 2012, I was unable to work due to the pain and went on long term sick from my job as a Personal Assistant. I was then made redundant a few months later and have since been on ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) and PIP (Personal Independence Payment) until I am able to get back to work again. I do, however, write for Endometriosis.net alongside the running of EMLWY.

Do you have a partner?
Yes. I've been with Danny since 2010 although we were friends for a few years before this. He's been a wonderful support to me.

Do you have any children?
We have a little boy called Hunter Ace who is a very special IVF baby. You can read more about him here.

What is endometriosis?
Endometriosis (pronounced end-oh-mee-tree-oh-sis) is a painful, chronic and sometimes debilitating gynaecological disease which affects millions of women worldwide. It occurs when tissue similar to that which lines the uterus (called endometrium) is found growing outside of the womb, usually in the pelvis (although it can be found anywhere in the body), and develops in to growths or lesions.

You can find out more about endometriosis in the 'About Endometriosis' section.

I think I might have endometriosis - what are the symptoms and what should I do?
The most common symptom of endometriosis is chronic pelvic pain which can feel similar to menstrual cramps. Often though, the pain from endometriosis can occur at other times in a woman's cycle. Other symptoms include heavy, irregular periods, pain during sex or after sex and problems going to the toilet.

You can find out more about the symptoms of endometriosis in the 'About Endometriosis' section.

If you think you may have endometriosis or if you suffer from heavy, irregular periods and intense pain, please speak to your doctor. It's NOT normal for periods to be like this. It may not be endometriosis, but it could be something else creating problems. If you feel something isn't right with your body, go with your own instincts and push for an answer.

When were you diagnosed?
In 2005, when I was 21. I began having problems with it when I started my periods at the age of 12 but thought this was all normal. It was only when I started experiencing pain during sex that I questioned the doctor which led to a quick diagnosis of endometriosis. You can read about my initial diagnosis and earlier story here.

What stage endometriosis do you have?
My endometriosis has been classed as severe (stage IV) since diagnosis. It was originally found on my ovaries and pouch of Douglas, but has since been found on my pelvic prim, abdominal wall, bladder and diaphragm. It also blocked my left fallopian tube, tethered my organs to my bowels (causing ischaemic colitis) and most recently it has been found that I have rectovaginal (deep infiltrating) endometriosis.

Have you had any surgery for your endometriosis?
To date I've had two diagnostic laparoscopies (2005 and 2012) and two keyhole laser surgeries with adesiology for removal of endometriosis (2007 and 2013).

Have you tried changing your diet?
Besides eating healthy and steering clear of caffeine and alcohol, I've only tried going dairy free to date. Unfortunately, it didn't make any difference to my endometriosis at all.

Have you been on any treatments?
I've tried Zolodex twice - once with and once without HRT (hormone replacement therapy), Decapeptyl with HRT, 3 different types of contraceptive pill, the Mirena coil, the Mirena coil and pill at the same time, the Nexplanon implant, the Nexplanon implant and progesterone only pill at the same time, the Nexplanon implant and combined pill at the same time and a whole list of pain relief including, Tramadol, Paracetamol, Diclofenac, Naproxen, Nefopam, Ibuprofen, Dihydrocodeine and a TENs machine. I’ve been to a pain management clinic and have seen a physiotherapist and a pelvic pain psychologist. I’ve also been put forward for experimental treatments usually only given to women with breast cancer, but unfortunately my bones couldn’t take the treatment.

What does EMLWY stand for?
I often refer to this blog as EMLWY - it simply stands for "Endometriosis: my life with you".

Can I share your posts?
Yes, of course! It goes without saying that I write this blog to raise awareness so any and everything on here can be shared to do just that. However, I do ask that you credit me whenever you share something. I have noticed things I've written being used by others as their own work and although I'm happy with the content to be shared, I have put a lot of time and effort in to this blog and I don't want it to just be ripped off!

Can I share my story on EMLWY?
Yes! I try and publish fellow endo sisters stories of life with endometriosis as often as possible because I feel it's important to share all the different aspects of this disease that we experience. If you are interested in sharing your story then please email me at shireen.emlwy@gmail.com along with a photo. If you do not wish to share your name then I am happy to keep the post anonymous for you. You can read other endo sister's stories in the 'Your Stories' section.

I have been asked in the past if I pay for stories and the answer is no. If you read the blog then you will know that I am out of work myself, so my financial situation is less than desirable.

I'm interested in guest writing for EMLWY - would you be interested?
Yes! Obviously, it has to be in regards to endometriosis, but if you are interested in guesting then please contact me.

How can I contact you?
Head on over to the 'Contact' page or click on the buttons to the right of the page.