Melissa Juried Kriebel
Dr Kristina Sule has had a great interest in high-risk pregnancy and maternal medicine.
Born in Kyiv, Ukraine where her parents were studying, she returned to Kenya to a few culture shocks. She joined St. George’s Primary school in Nairobi.
“I barely spoke English, and I did not speak any Swahili, but I knew a lot of math and there were a lot of other subjects I knew nothing about,” recalls Dr Sule, now a cosmetic gynaecologist. “It was a very tough adjustment for me but I made it.”
Her mother had noticed how she was struggling to adjust and she reassured her that she could be anything she wanted in life, and she asked, “Even a doctor?” her mother, who was initially a pharmacist before switching to law, answered in the affirmative.
Dr Sule, then 12, began working hard despite the language barriers and topped her class before proceeding to high school.
“I followed my mother’s advice and her parenting and I believe she has been a great influence and still is in my career path,” says the alumni of Precious Blood Riruta.
“I knew I wanted to deliver babies and help pregnant women but when I finished high school, I had a bit of a shift and thought of pursuing law or a business-related study,” offer Dr Sule who joined Strathmore University for her CPA but later discovered her passion was still in medicine, her first choice from childhood.
Her career journey into cosmetic gynaecology has not been an easy one. After scoring an A minus in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam, she could not join the School of Medicine at the University of Nairobi, as a regular student, but luckily, her parents footed her parallel programme.
“It was tough and demanding as medical students do not get time to enjoy the kind of social life that other students in other courses enjoy. It is a sacrifice,” she says.
At the end of the first year, she was sure medicine was her calling.
After securing an internship at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Dr Sule worked at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital in the obstetrics and gynaecology section.
She later volunteered at Pumwani Maternity Hospital for 18 months to gain experience before proceeding to pursue her Master’s degree in obstetrics and gynaecology.
But having not worked for the government, she could not get any stipend like her other colleagues while pursuing her Master’s. Unable to get a permanent job was what pushed her into private practice.
“Cosmetic gynaecology had piqued my interest in the final year of my Master’s although I also had a great interest in high-risk pregnancy and maternal medicine, so when I could not get a job with the government, I spread my wings to the United Arab Emirates.”
Dr Sule specialised in cosmetic gynaecology.”I didn’t know there was an area in gynaecology that could make women feel beautiful aesthetically in their female genital structures.”
She enrolled for training in cosmetic gynaecology and became a senior member of the European Society of Aesthetic Gynaecology and has since been attending various conferences in that line besides bringing therapies that Kenyan women can enjoy like others in the world.
Cosmetic gynaecology entails improving the aesthetic and functional quality of the female genital structures and in the process, it alleviates pain.
She says some of her patients frown at the appearance of their female genital structures.
Usually, help is via surgical or non-surgical procedures for them to continue with their daily activities.
“I have clients who come with sexual dysfunctions, others with issues to do with sexual arousal or not being able to achieve an orgasm or maybe they have pain during intercourse,” she adds.
Treatment is through therapies in cosmetic gynaecology including Aesthetic Vulval Fillers and Intimate Lightening and her work is more appreciated in Africa due to the number of women who have had multiple deliveries or have undergone Female Genital Mutilation and may not have normal functionality.
At the clinic, there is Radiofrequency Surgery for cosmetic gynaecology and FGM reconstruction, which offers less tissue damage and quicker healing as it seals the blood vessels simultaneously.
“I do not think this is something women should be ashamed of either, if you feel this is something you need for yourself, or to save your marriage, you should go ahead and do it,” advises Dr Sule adding that she has been educating corporates on sexual and reproductive health issues.
Dr Sule also mentors girls on career choices.