This group of drugs include, codene, endone and morphine. They have a direct slowing effect on the bowel. The drug binds with the opioid receptors located along the length of the gut. The end result is decreased peristalsis (muscle action in the gut to move contents along), decreased fluid secretion, vital to keep the stool soft and moist, increased sphincter tone, (the valves become smaller), increase fluid absorption, drying out the stool. This has become such an issue that we now have a label, Narcotic Bowel Syndrome. People with pelvic pain syndrome may well be making themselves worse by taking pain medication that is opioid based. It is important to keep your pain under control but there are other medications and methods that maybe need to be explored.
Many people ask me “should I use ice or heat?”. My answer is always the same, use what ever gives you relief. Ice is intended to help settle inflammatory pain, which it does pretty well in the acute setting. While heat tends to work better where there is muscle or joint pain of a more long term nature. What many people don’t try is placing the heat or ice pack, against the labia, in the Saddle region. Lots of relief can be gained doing this, get 2 pack one down there and one on the tummy. There also stick on heat patches, one use only. These last up to 12 hours and would be great as panty liners. We have these at our practice and they are cheap and effective. I placed one on as a trial. Put it on at 7.00pm wore it all night to bed and was very surprised when it was still emitting a gentle heat the next morning. Great if you have to travel, if at an event, or just going to work. I am not sure about use during plane flight. May not get through security as it relies on a chemical reaction, to make it work.