For many women over the age of 50, pelvic floor and bladder dysfunction is something they don’t understand, talk about or feel they can do anything about. Making it her life’s mission to help women with this problem, 35 year old Dr. Lamees Ras, is on her way to becoming South Africa’s first locally certified Urogynaecologist.
What most women don’t know is that pelvic floor dysfunction; which affects the bladder, reproductive organs, and bowels; is common and treatable. Lamees’ job is to find treatments for the problem which may include exercises, medicines or surgery.
Lamees became interested in the field when she realized that many women suffer in silence, not knowing that they can find solutions. When faced with this problem, women generally stop socializing, become depressed, and they stop having intercourse with their partners. They feel like they constantly smell of urine and are afraid of leakages. Lamees aims to get women to step out of the shadows and take control of their bodies.
For anybody wanting to pursue gynaecology or any medical profession, Lamees advises that it requires years of sacrifice, discipline and determination.
After matriculating from Islamia College, Lamees completed her 6 year medical degree at UCT, which was followed by a two-year internship and a year’s community service. She then worked for two years as a medical officer during which time she became a qualified obstetrician and gynaecologist.
In addition to working at Groote Schuur Hospital, she is currently completing her two year urogynaecology sub-specialisation training programme. She also spends some time working at Vincent Pallotti and Christiaan Barnard Memorial hospitals.
She admits that her work as a surgeon requires long hours which makes it difficult for her to have a social life, but she adds that it is very rewarding profession. It is the only profession “where you can see the miracle of life on an almost daily basis”.