New Book Coming Soon

Clinical Psychology + Modern Pain Science

Vaginismus is said to be a “spasm” of the outer third of the vagina that makes penetrative sex, tampon use, and gynecological examination impossible. This shocking condition is one of the most complex and misunderstood “psychosomatic” disorders in existence. 

Filtered through the lens of modern pain science and my own 20-year lived experience, my upcoming book (not the booklet below) explores the emerging sex research into both vaginismus and provoked vestibulodynia to offer a gentle reconceptualization of these surprisingly common conditions.

About Kirsten Loop

UX Researcher & Technical Writer in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

I had vaginismus for 20 years. I cured myself in 1998 with no health care support, no internet, not even a single book—and no vaginal dilation! Once cured, I never looked back. For the next two decades I kept my “shameful” secret to myself and tried to live as though the impact of the experience didn’t matter. It was that painful an ordeal.

Software Development was once my bread & butter, but when persistent career burnout went existential in 2018, I was forced to reckon with my past. Vaginismus fundamentally changed who I was and how I interacted with the world.

I spent 2 years circumambulating the nascent research, consulted with some of the top researchers in the field of sexual pain, and came to terms with my younger, terrified self. I was shocked to discover this isolating condition is experienced by millions worldwide.

I bring this story to life with the hope of providing a new perspective to those who suffer in shame and silence—and the health care practitioners who treat them.

Enthusiastic anticipation from the experts!

"When I first spoke with Kirsten about vaginismus, she struck me as one of the most informed people regarding research on vaginismus—with the most interesting perspective of also being a ”patient expert.” Her plan to write a book interweaving her personal experience with research and trying to make sense of it all was most welcome. Can’t wait for the final product—a book for women with vaginismus and those who care for them, both personally & professionally."
"Every woman will identify with Kirsten Loop’s story. It’s a story about learning to understand and love a body that was once the enemy. Our physical bodies bear the weight of emotional battle scars we can’t see, but god can we feel them! "Kirsten bravely traces the connections between lived experience, embodied trauma, chronic pain, and vaginismus. Her intuitive grasp of the experiential, philosophical, and scientific intersections of vaginismus can bridge the chasm between the patient experience and optimal care each woman deserves. Kirsten Loop’s book promises to be as stimulating and inspiring as she is in real life!"
"Persistent, unexplained vulvar pain robs people of the potential for living a full and healthy life. And far too often healthcare providers just don't know enough to know how to help their patients—or which other professionals might be helpful in their journey. Kirsten lived through this massive challenge and is creating a resource that can help shorten the time to care. Her book will give real hope to those who experience unexplained sexual and (non-sexual!) pain. I am excited for this book to come out so I can share it with patients who are looking to hear from a "real person" on how to navigate the brutal landscape of finding an end to vulvovaginal pain."

— A How-To Guide -

Create a Structured Diary for Vaginismus Home Dilation

Identify obstacles. Target opportunities. Gain self-insight. Discover actionable information. Tweak your process. Stay motivated.

Everyone’s experience of vaginismus is unique. Regular diaries can be great for self-insight, but they’re usually only a record of thoughts, accomplishments, and sensations. I’ve created a little how-to guidebook that shows you how to keep an ultra simple, scientifically informed “structured” diary that’s better designed to uncover unseen clues about your dilation experience—whether or not you’re working with a pelvic floor physiotherapist. You’ll write briefly – very briefly! – each day for about 3 weeks total. These kinds of diaries are used in health care and treatment all the time! What you find can be surprising and can help you tweak your home dilation experience for potentially greater—and fastersuccess! Consider it a 3-week project in research-backed self-discovery.