Pain is the most frequently reported symptom or com-plaint associated with uterine fibroids during pregnancy. At times the fibroid is not diagnosed until after the patient presents with severe pain. The pain may be intense enough to lead to the patient being hospitalized. However, studies suggest that the pain usually responds to ibuprofen. It should be emphasized that the class of drugs to which ibuprofen belongs—i.e., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—are usually not recommended during the third trimester due to significant potential risks to the baby.
The pain is thought to be due in part to swelling (edema) and infarction (decrease in the blood supply) to the affected fibroid. The size of the growing uterus may at times be exaggerated by the presence of large fibroids. The increased weight and size may cause difficulty in sleeping, walking, and breathing.