Before I started the 1-on-1 journey with Katrin, my life consisted of intense physical pelvic pain. I had vaginismus for about 5 years before I decided to start the Pain Free and Intimate Journey.
Mentally I was struggling to find a different answer to the question I had always asked myself – which was am I going to get better? As positive as I was, there was a part of me that believed I would never get better. After seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist for a while, she kept talking about the mind body link of vaginismus. She also described the physical interventions we could take but always rooted the cause back to my emotions, mental patterns, and belief about myself.
Around the time I started my own pelvic page on Instagram to try to tell my story and find a community, I came across Katrin’s page. The first thing that caught my eye was that Katrin used to have vaginismus and she was able to overcome it. When scrolling through her page I found a lot of similar concepts to what my physiotherapist would talk about – emotional healing. I was posting content on my pelvic page and getting to know the community for a couple of months in 2020 before I decided to book an initial chat with Katrin.
Talking with Katrin for the first time felt like a breath of fresh air. I have never met anyone in my life who related to my situation so intensely. She understood me in ways I always wanted the people in my life to.
I didn’t have to explain much to Katrin – she just understood, and she was so optimistic about my journey. She made me feel seen and heard, something I never knew was possible in my vaginismus journey. After chatting with Katrin, from that moment on I knew I had to enrol in the Pain Free and Intimate Journey. It was the first step of me doing something for myself – which was ultimately the key to me overcoming vaginismus.
The process during the 4 months together with Katrin involved emotional and physical healing. I was more focused on the emotional part since I had been in therapy but never talked about my vaginismus. I had done physiotherapy, so I had some insight into relaxing the muscles for the physical part. I was excited and nervous to dive into the emotional journey. Going through the emotional healing journey I was surprised at how much love I had for myself throughout it. Doing various meditations and visualizations, I was always able to come to a place that allowed me to find some compassion for myself. Emotional healing made me confront a lot of old thought patterns, certain beliefs, and experiences in my life I held in my pelvis.
I achieved various milestones throughout the whole journey, but the most prominent ones were when I felt like I would get better when I wrote a letter to myself 2 years into the future, when I was able to go into my heart space and when I fell in love with TRE (the tension and trauma releasing exercises). Being able to come to place that I fully accepted myself was also a big milestone. At that time, I hadn’t overcome vaginismus yet, but I came to place where I accepted who I was in that moment. I was not giving up but surrendering to the idea that I did not have to put in so much energy trying to hate my vaginismus, that at the end of the day it was always trying to protect me, it was just confused as to what the danger was. When I was able to create that compassion for myself, my attitude changed. I was able to do this through the emotional healing journey and finding that love I always had inside of me.
The best part of my calls with Katrin was when she would take some time to celebrate me at the end of every call. She always made me feel so welcomed and understood in every way. To explain the benefit I got from Katrin would probably take me a whole lifetime, she has changed my life in ways I never knew was possible. The benefits of having someone understand you fully, the guidance, the coaching, and the confidence that I got from Katrin is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
After completing the on 1-on-1 journey with Katrin in 2021 I had decided to be enrol in the group journey as well. When coming to the end of my 1-on-1 with Katrin I realized I wanted an increased support system and take all the insights I learned into a group setting, to help create a sense of community within the vaginismus world. In 2021 I completed both the 1-on-1 journey and the group journey, and a month or two after the group journey I was able to overcome vaginismus.
After coming face to face with vaginismus during the first time I had PIV penetration at 18, at 24 I was vaginismus free.
The journey for me becoming vaginismus free happened throughout the emotional journey with Katrin and creating a community through group calls. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment I was vaginismus free, or the change in my body telling me that I didn’t have it anymore. Although, a lot of my progress had to do with my journey around dating at the time. I had just started dating in 2021 through dating apps after being single for over 2 years. At that point I was learning how to navigate vaginismus and dating. I tried so many different things – telling people right off the bat and subsequently being rejected because of it. Looking back at these experiences now, I felt like I was holding myself back when I was dating, I felt like I had some huge secret I needed to hide away from, and that I should feel lucky if anyone wanted to be with me. That mentality still made it hard for me to accept my vaginismus for what it was. At the end of the day, it was a body response believing it had to protect me – a miscommunication between my body and my mind.
I felt as though I was punishing myself for this miscommunication in my body so coming to a place of acceptance for myself was tough – going through various rejections, putting myself out there in the dating world and standing up for myself was a long journey. I credit one of the main reasons that I was able to overcome vaginismus was when I was in the dating world, and I was able to stand up for myself and say no to continuing a relationship with someone I did not want to be with. This individual was very accepting of my vaginismus, and I believe we would have been able to work together to get through it. But I did not want this to be the only reason I was still with him – we were not a good fit personality wise, and I knew that from the beginning. Still, it took me two months of this to tell him I did not want to pursue a relationship with him. That was the first time I was able to stand up for myself and know that just because I had vaginismus that I did not need to settle with what I wanted.
It would be a tough road ahead, but I wanted to be with a partner that I loved being with and was a good fit for me, not just because they accepted me for having vaginismus. At that moment I knew I did not need anyone else’s acceptance but mine. I had true love and compassion in my heart, and honestly, I had been through so much work trying to overcome vaginismus at that point it didn’t really matter to me how long it would take, but I believed in myself enough to know I would get through it.
A couple of months later I found the partner who I am with now. At the time I met him I still had vaginismus. But now 4 months in I do not. I often ask myself how this happened. I look at our relationship and see what a safe space he created for me. I have never felt this comfortable in my life. In my dating experiences before, I would always feel like there was a part of me that needed to be fixed. But with my partner now I never felt like that. Even when I told him about my vaginismus, he was so supportive. He knew that we could work together at my pace. He never pushed me, he addressed all my concerns and constantly reassured me. I was at a place where I had true acceptance for myself, so it made it easier to create this environment with him. When we kept trying to have PIV sex, I would use my vibrator (best invention ever by the way!) and then a couple of tries later I was able to have full penetration. I still felt tightness in my muscles, and we would often go slow.
I would say that I do not feel pain anymore, but honestly, I do not feel much pleasure either. I am going slow on this journey to pleasure, and I am taking my time to figure it out. It is honestly so confusing, and you do not know how to feel most of the times, so I am trying to enjoy every minute of it. I am not giving myself a timeline and creating dialogue in my head to allow myself to take up more space, be heard and create more pleasurable experiences through sex.
Life after the journey with Katrin and overcoming vaginismus has been like a ride on a boat. I am sailing through just observing myself. After going through the Pain Free and Intimate journey I was immediately more confident that I would overcome vaginismus. The reason I know I was able to do this was because of Katrin’s guidance. I was able to come back home to be who I actually was. I was able to say no more often and stand up for myself. In the dating world I was not afraid to tell people about my story anymore, I believed in myself, and I knew I had the ability to overcome vaginismus. My relationship to myself has strengthened as I am so incredibly proud of myself every day. Not that I was able to overcome vaginismus, but that I had the confidence and love in myself to be willing to try.
Now I am a woman who is confident, loving, secure, and playful – words I would never use to describe myself before! I am who I was always meant to be.
My wish for others on a similar journey is to trust, love and accept themselves so deeply. For me, I think what helped me the most with overcoming vaginismus was all of the compassion and deep acceptance of myself combined with speaking my mind and taking up space. Being able to be unapologetically me is something I have learned throughout the Pain Free and Intimate journey. Additionally, I would also recommend infusing more and more pleasure into your sexual practice. It really does make the difference. I would say take your time, feel your pleasure and allow yourself to know what it feels like to feel good about sex.
Katrin was the best supporter, guide, mentor and coach I could ever ask for. I would 100% recommend this program for anyone who is looking to take on the emotional side of their pain. I would have never been able to become the confident person I am today without going through this journey with Katrin and I will be forever grateful to her and the amazing Pain Free and Intimate journey.
– A.B. (Toronto, Canada)