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How can we prevent a miscarriage?

Q: My wife suffered a miscarriage; the cause of which the doctor said was ANA (we were planning an IVF). She is 75 Kg in height and 5.2 in height. We will take a second attempt soon but the aim is to prevent a miscarriage. The doctor says my wife has to take steroids; could you please enlighten me on the process and side effects of this?

A:ANA (Anti-Nuclear Antibodies) is a test and not a diagnosis of a disease. ANA is positive in a large number of disorders such as fibromyalgia, systemic sclerosis, SLE, iatrogenic (due to consumption of certain medicines) etc. If possible it is always worthwhile to determine the cause of ANA. Steroids do kill antibodies and thus counter ANA. The details given by you are not sufficient for me to give you advice on their use in your wife’s specific case. My concern is also the weight of the patient: at 72 kg with 5 feet 2 inches of height, she is already substantially overweight (in all probability due to hypothyroidism); steroids will increase the weight further. However, all medicines have side effects. One has to see if side effects, if they occur, are balanced by benefits.

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