I was born and raised in a strict and religious home with African parents.
Sex was never to be discussed, seen on TV, tried or even thought about. Sometimes I wondered how I was born, as I did not believe my parents had sex since it was such a taboo. Even though I had 4 other siblings and I was the last born.
My parents greatest fear was that I would get pregnant and ruin all the chances that I would have in life or that my life would end like many girls that were in my community - hence the strict upbringing. I promised my mother that I would not have sex until I had finished my higher education, bought myself a car, a house, then gotten married. Failure was not an option and pregnancy meant failure.
So, with my go getter attitude, I focused on school, brushed off advances from boys and made sure I made it to the dream. I left home for the U.S. to further my studies and even then, with the new found freedom from my parents I never veered from the promise. School, car, house, get married. In college I did have 2 or 3 boyfriends but it was never serious we would play around and cuddle but penetration was always off the table and I let them know beforehand. Those relationships never lasted long.
It wasn’t until I graduated and started working that I met my now husband. He was raised in an African home as well and was a Christian just like me and so we agreed we would wait till marriage to have sex. We dated for 5 years before we got married and during this time, we had different types of sex (that I now know was forms of sex that do not include PIV) and that’s how we kept our relationship going. We were also busy with grad school and work so PIV sex was not something we would think of as we were both waiting for marriage.
In 2018, we got married and went on honeymoon and the night I had been waiting for was here at last. BUT alas! Nothing happened. My husband could not get through my vagina and he said it felt like I had a wall up. I thought maybe it was nerves I suggested we try again the next day. Nothing! Same thing as before but this time, I felt a sharp burning pain and I had to let him know to stop. I was traumatized.
We got back from the honeymoon and immediately started to research on why this was happening to me. My husband actually found a website that was talking about vaginismus. I read over the symptoms and I told him. This is it!! This is exactly how it feels like. I was excited to put words into it and define it. Things started to make sense such as not being able to put a tampon when I was younger, not being able to have a pelvic exam and now no PIV sex.
My go-getter attitude kicked in and I was determined to overcome this issue. I was 31 years and wanted to start a family. I had to overcome vaginismus. I ordered a dilator set from the website my husband had just found and it came with a book and 6 plastic dilators. I was excited! However, this did not last long as when I opened the dilator set, I was in shock. I was overwhelmed, how would I be able to insert these dilators in my vagina? The book's instructions made it sound so simple but no matter how hard I tried I could not even get the first dilator in. I started to lose hope and I remember crying in the bathroom and giving up and putting the dilator set back and never looking back.
We focused on other things traveling, buying a house, hobbies and just ignored the unspoken fear lingering in our lives of never having sex. Two years passed and the pressure to have kids started to grow. People would call and say “you know, you’re not getting any younger”. I was now 33. They were right. I could not ignore the issue any longer. I opened my old plastic dilator set again and stared at it and said to myself, “There has got to be a way to do this."
I said a little prayer, went online, opened Instagram and searched for vaginismus. I will have you know I chose Instagram because I believed I had exhausted all resources on Google that could help with vaginismus. I needed something new. AND that’s when I discovered Katrin on Instagram @katrin.with.love.
She had personally overcome vaginismus herself. This is exactly what I needed a personal account of someone who had gone through it and overcome it. There was more!! They were many more like me and they too had overcome vaginismus. I was no longer alone. This was everything I had hoped and prayed for and more. I applied for her book which she gives out for free and read through her entire website maybe in a week. I was excited. The book arrived quickly and after reading it there was no doubt in my mind that this is what I needed to do to overcome vaginismus. I booked an appointment with her for the 45 minute free consultation and that’s when I knew that I would overcome vaginismus.
I ended up signing up for the 1-on-1 with Katrin because I knew I could not do this alone. We started off with an emotional healing journey that was extremely helpful and one that I did not know I needed. We did some subconscious programming to work through what had happened to me since I was a child. I realized that the unhealthy relationship I had with sex and the fear of getting pregnant was the psychological trigger to my vaginismus and without healing this part you cannot really unlock the rest of your body to accept PIV sex. This was really the key for me.
Katrin was amazing with working with me to create a new identity for myself that would embrace this new journey as a sexual goddess that I would love and come to enjoy. After all the emotional healing and learning new habits such as meditation, pelvic floor and trauma releasing exercises, I began to be comfortable in my own skin and was finally able to insert my first dilator after one month. I was ecstatic. A week later I was on my second dilator. This was huge for me.
I would like to note as well that I did see a gynaecologist before my first session with Katrin as I wanted to be sure of my vaginismus diagnosis. She recommended a pelvic floor therapist and I let Katrin know and she was super encouraging for me to work with the pelvic floor therapist. She would do some physical massaging of my pelvic floor muscles which she confirmed were unusually tight and we would do some internal deep vagina massage. All this was possible as I was working with Katrin and she would encourage me to do my dilating practices and through her practical videos I would be able to manage it. On one of the sessions with the pelvic floor therapist she was extremely impressed by my progress from every appointment which was every other week. She even recounted that my progress with her would take other patients months and I knew it was because I had done the work with Katrin - especially the emotional work which is extremely important in this journey.
In one of my sessions with Katrin, we did some more healing work and she asked me how I could show up as a sexual goddess and I let her know that I would love to initiate sex with my husband. With encouragement from her I did just that later that weekend and due to the comfortability and the work I had done with my husband I was able to feel safe and sexy and we attempted PIV without thinking about it.
As a result, I was able to conceive that night and my dream of being a mother was realized and I am now pregnant!!! I could not believe it. After years of trying, in just the second month of working with Katrin, I had been completely transformed and now I was going to be a mother. I would like to mention that we did not go all the way as I was still in 2nd dilator size but the key was that there was no pain!!! No fear!!! Just trust. And trusting my body. It was also incredibly helpful for my husband to be a part of this journey and he now understands how to support me and that made all the difference. I am so proud of the journey I have made so far. I am still a student of Katrin’s and now on my 3rd dilator set but I am sure everything I have learned so far will last me a lifetime.
I would wish that everyone did not wait 2 years of hopelessness waiting for something to happen. If you want to overcome vaginismus, DO NOT DO IT ALONE. Katrin has a community of women ready to share their wins and victories that would get you back on your journey too.
Katrin has been a shining light on the journey and with her calm but reassuring nature, she completely made me feel at ease from the first session with her. She incorporates her personal experience and expert opinions that make sure you don’t have to do any guesswork anymore.
If you encounter challenges in your journey, she is an email away and will address them as soon as possible to put your mind at ease and know that you are not alone. Her well put together training plans make it so much easier to follow and made me look forward every day to learning something new.
I am forever grateful that my path crossed with hers and truly believe she was my answered prayer.
- Grace (33 years old, California, USA)