- What’s to know about vaginal gas?
- 1. Sex
- 2. Pelvic floor problems
- 3. Fistula
- 4. Tampons
- 5. Tense muscles
- How to get rid of trapped air
- Tips to Stop Vaginal Farting or Queefing
- IS THIS NORMAL?: I can’t stop queefing during sex
- Honestly, though, that seems pretty low. Especially since an informal survey of the women around me revealed that literally all of them had queefed at one time or another.
- Queefing Is So Embarrassing, But Does It Have To Be? How To Deal With Awkward Sex Moments
- How To Avoid Queefing During Sex: Your 3-Step Guide
- 1. Switch positions
- 2. Change the motion
- 3. You can, er, let the air out
- What Is Vaginal Flatulence (Queef)?
- Causes of Vaginal Flatulence
- Vaginal Fistulas
- Vaginal Flatulence Research
- Stopping Vaginal Flatulence
- Why Farts Sometimes Get Trapped in Your Vagina
- Is queefing dangerous?
- The Ultimate Guide to Fanny Farts
What’s to know about vaginal gas?
Fistulas occur when an abnormal, hollow chamber develops between two otherwise normally unconnected organs. They can occur when scar tissue forms or breaks down. Vaginal fistulas can cause vaginal gas.
Fistulas can develop between the vagina and several other pelvic organs. The symptoms associated with vaginal fistulas are dependent on the size and location of the fistula and organs involved.
Possible types of vaginal fistula include:
A vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) occurs when a connection develops between the vagina and the urinary bladder.
At least three million women in developing nations have unrepaired VVFs. The condition is typically associated with obstructed labor and gynecological surgical injury.
In developed nations, VVF is far less common, although linked to an estimated 3 to 5 percent of cancers involving the vagina, cervix, and uterus (endometrial lining).
The most common symptom of VVF is abnormal watery discharge and continuous urine leakage. Large fistulas may cause pain and discomfort.
This occurs when a connection develops between the vagina and a ureter, the tube-like structure (normally one on each side of the body) that transfers urine from the kidneys to the bladder for removal.
A majority of ureterovaginal fistulas occur as the result of injury during a gynecological surgery, such as a hysterectomy.
The most common symptom of the condition is continual urine leakage from the vagina and abdominal discomfort.
A urethrovaginal fistula is the result of a connection between the vagina and the urethra, the tube-like structure that connects the bladder to the outside of the body.
The most common symptoms of urethrovaginal fistulas are continual urine leakage from the vagina that worsens with increased abdominal pressure.
An enterovaginal fistula develops when an abnormal opening forms between the vagina and the small intestine.
The condition may result from abdominopelvic surgery or an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease. Symptoms include the passage of gas from the vagina and abdominal pain.
Share on PinterestIt is important to speak with a doctor if vaginal gas occurs with no obvious cause, or alongside other symptoms such as inflammation or bleeding.
This type of fistula happens when an abnormal connection develops between the vagina and the rectum.
Common causes include:
- inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- prolonged or obstructed labor
- injury during surgery or post-surgery complications, such as infection
- radiation therapy involving the pelvis
- cancerous tumors
The most common symptoms of rectovaginal fistulas include inflammation, the passage of gas or feces through the vagina, and a foul odor.
This fistula forms when an abnormal opening develops between the vagina and the colon.
The condition is considered rare and potentially a complication of pelvic surgeries, including hysterectomies. It can also be caused by gastrointestinal conditions, such as colon diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, or ulcerative colitis.
The most common symptoms of colovaginal fistulas include:
- passage or leakage of feces or gas from vagina
- foul-smelling vaginal discharge that may be discolored
- multiple or recurrent urinary tract or vaginal infections
- pain and inflammation in the area between the vagina, colon, and external vaginal tissues
- pain during sexual activities
THEY can cause serious embarrassment, but fanny farts shouldn’t always be laughed off.
Granted most episodes won’t mean anything serious there are some instances when you might be wise to see your doctor.
6 Trapped air down there can cause an embarrassing noise but can also be a sign something more serious is going onCredit: Getty – Contributor
A fanny fart is caused by trapped wind in the vagina, but it’s not flatulence.
The embarrassing noise is simply the air being released from your vaginal canal, also known as “queefing”.
But since the farting sound isn’t being caused by waste gases and doesn’t smell, it is not actually a fart.
There are several ways air can get trapped down there, the most common is during sex.
6 The most common cause of air getting trapped in the vagina is sexCredit: Getty – Contributor
When you’re getting down and dirty it is easy for air to become trapped down there.
That’s because the vagina expands and contracts when you’re aroused, allowing more air to enter.
Every time something enters down there, it pushes the air further up.
So when the fun is over and done with, it will eventually comes out accompanied by a farting sound.
6 Pelvic floor problems have been linked to vaginal gasCredit: Getty – Contributor
2. Pelvic floor problems
Trapped air can be a sign of more serious problems with your pelvic floor.
Some conditions, like incontinence and prolapse, have been linked to vaginal gas.
GIRLS…LISTEN UP! This is the one exercise all women should do EVERY day to boost your sex life and fertility
That’s why it is so important to do your pelvic floor exercises.
Exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles help prevent the unthinkable – prolapse of a woman’s internal organs, which can happen after giving birth.
In severe cases a uterine prolapse can result in a woman needing to undergo a hysterectomy, leaving her infertile.
Training this key set of muscles will not only boost your sex life, it can prevent incontinence and makes life after childbirth more bearable time.
6 Vaginal gas can also be caused by a fistula, which could be a sign of something more serious like cancerCredit: Alamy
A fistula is a hollow chamber that develops between two unconnected organs.
It might not sound like a serious condition but they can be caused by infections and inflammation, both things you need to get checked if you are suffering from constant fanny farts.
And they can occur in more than one area down there.
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The most common places a woman may get a fistula is between the vagina and the bladder, bowel or intestines.
About three million women around the world suffer from a vesicovaginal fistula – fistula between their vagina and bladder.
It can cause symptoms like continuous wee leakage, pain and discomfort.
If you have an enterovaginal fistula it develops between the vagina and the small intestine and could be a sign of inflammatory bowel condition Crohn’s disease.
As well as passing gas from your vagina you will also experience abdominal pain with this condition.
If a fistula develops between your vagina and your rectum it could either be a rectovaginal fistula or colovaginal fistula.
These can cause leakage, discharge from the vagina, pain and inflammation and, you guessed it, vaginal gas.
This can be a sign of inflammatory bowel conditions or even tumours like bowel cancer.
So if you have any of these symptoms see a doctor straight away.
6 using tampons can also cause air to get trapped when you insert themCredit: Getty – Contributor
Anything that’s inserted into the vagina can cause air to get trapped – and that includes feminine hygiene products.
So fanny farts are entirely possible when using tampons.
Don’t worry though, the air will escape when you take it out.
6 Exams like a smear test can cause your muscles down there to tense up, which can also trap airCredit: Getty – Contributor
5. Tense muscles
If your pelvic floor muscles get tense they can end up holding air down there.
Your muscles can get tense for any number of reasons including stress, sex, holding in a wee and even gynaecological exams like a smear test.
Exercise can also cause your muscles down there to tense.
When this happens any air that might be you-know-where can get pulled in further as the muscles contract.
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How to get rid of trapped air
If you are experiencing trapped air down there one of the easiest ways you can relieve yourself is to squat while you are weeing.
That will allow the muscles to relax and the air will come out.
You can also avoid things you know cause air to get trapped – like a specific position during sex.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain, incontinence and muscles spasms alongside fanny farts you should speak to your doctor as soon as you can.
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Tips to Stop Vaginal Farting or Queefing
If you have ever experienced vaginal flatulence or farting, you know it can turn anything into an embarrassing moment. Think about yoga, sex, getting up after an urogynaecological examination, or getting off the floor in an exercise class. Let’s take a closer look at what causes it and what we can do to fix it.
Guest blog post by Annatina Schorno-Pitsch, PT. A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist and Leading Expert on the Core Exercise Solutions Team.
Vaginal flatulence, also known as queefing, means that air penetrates the vagina and is simply released. There is no other way for the trapped air to come out than from the vagina itself. So just like an instrument, the vagina produces this sound. Even though it sounds like a fart it is not a fart and has no bad smell.
You are not alone! It can happen to anyone with a vagina, and it can happen at any age. This vaginal noise often happens during intimate moments. The vagina increases in size when the woman is aroused. This lets her vaginal room expand and creates a suction that allows more air to flow into the vagina. When the vagina contracts due to increased intraabdominal pressure, e.g. when changing positions, moving, or lack of arousal, there will be an expulsion of air which often can be heard. It can happen during sex if the penis, finger or a sex toy is introduced since this will narrow the vaginal opening even more. Just like when you whistle with your fingers in your mouth, the narrower the vaginal opening gets the more pressure is needed to release the air which then makes it more or less audible.
The pelvic floor plays a key role in this concert since the pelvic floor is able to narrow the vagina and the vaginal opening. We know that vaginal flatulence after giving birth is common and occurs more frequently after vaginal delivery. It also affects women after cesarean section, hysterectomy or pelvic floor repair.
The main causes for increased vaginal noises are a weak or tight pelvic floor, prolapse, and retroverted uterus in combination with a weak pelvic floor. Since the pelvic floor reacts to our hormones, some women experience more queefing during ovulation or menstruation.
A tight pelvic floor can act like a suction to pull air into the vagina and then like a whistle for the trapped air to come out. Remember, a tight pelvic floor acts just like a weak pelvic floor because it often will not be able to relax nor contract properly.
A weak pelvic floor will allow more air to flow in and then release it with a fast and deeper sound when the intraabdominal pressure increases due to a lack of contraction control.
A perfectly functioning pelvic floor will not allow much air to get sucked into the vagina during activities, such as yoga, because the vaginal room is nice and narrow due to a great resting tone.
A great working pelvic floor will move on the inhale and exhale, and therefore let any tiny amounts of trapped air out naturally and silently.
Think of inhaling and letting the pelvic floor sink down, getting soft and squishy. Think of exhaling and letting the pelvic floor follow the diaphragm on its way up back to its resting tone. A well-synchronized pelvic floor that is also well-tuned with the breathing system will react to intraabdominal pressure with increasing its tone. So when you think of getting off the table after the urogynecological examination (increase of intraabdominal pressure), which itself will have led to more air in the vaginal cavity (due to the examination finger, spectrum… in your vagina), aim for a fantastic inhale followed by a long and slow exhale allowing your pelvic floor to move up before you get up. The inhale will relax your pelvic floor and your vagina and give the air the possibility to pass easy and silently before the demand of movement occurs. On your exhale the pelvic floor muscle tone increases and closes your vagina — and you should be fine. No embarrassing vaginal noises anymore.
Have you ever experienced vaginal flatulence during your workout or yoga class?
Let’s think about a position where your pelvis is higher than your shoulders: for example, the half-shoulder-stand or downward dog. When the pelvis gets higher and higher a tight pelvic floor can help to suck air into the vagina, and a weak pelvic floor will allow lots of air to flow into the vaginal cavity. When the pelvis comes down again and the trapped air wants to move out, a weak or tight pelvic floor will not be able to prevent the noise from happening.
Great tone and strength in your pelvic floor lets the vaginal room be narrow and will not allow tons of air to flow into the vagina, even after you’ve had kids. If you try to breathe throughout the exercise with the focus on great inhales and long exhales that touch your pelvic floor (if you are weak, try a gentle voluntary contraction of your pelvic floor on your exhale) you eventually will be able to get into the starting position without any noises.
The position of our organs also plays a role in managing the vaginal sound. If the organs are well-placed, the risk of experiencing queefing is so much less than when we are dealing with prolapse or retroverted uterus. This condition allows the air to move more easily into the vagina which then will end with the air passing through the vaginal opening.
Intermittent constipation can also cause queefing since the rectum and the vagina are very close neighbors. Having hard stool in the rectum can act just like the fingers/penis as described above and lead to a smaller vaginal opening. When the air gets trapped, you now know what will happen.
If the vaginal flatulence occurs frequently or at rest, and if it is associated with leaking urine or stool inside of your vagina, you want to see your gynecologist about it and get checked for a vaginal fistula.
Do you feel embarrassed when your vagina makes noises? Most of us do.
What can you do about the vaginal noise? You have different options. You could just carry on and try to enjoy your vaginal music. Or you can start to work on the cause that makes your vagina sound like the popping of a bottle of champagne.
Start by learning more about your pelvic floor and how it interacts with the rest of your pressure system such as your core, diaphragm, and glottis. Work specifically on your findings which could be on relaxation or strengthening of the pelvic floor, on the coordination of your breathing-pelvic floor system, and on your pressure management.
You can see a pelvic floor PT in person to gauge the strength of your pelvic floor and determine muscle tightness. Find out more about your uterus position. If you have a retroverted uterus you may want to see a professional to help with the visceral work on your organs. This will help tremendously.
Make sure you have a soft stool consistency and a great bowel movement technique.
Enjoy your sex life and if the vaginal noise happens, consider it like the sound of a popping champagne. And smile:) Working on getting a well-balanced muscle and visceral system and pressure management will reduce this symptom and eventually clear it up. You can have a great impact on your vaginal music — it is your choice.
To start learning today, join us in our membership program or certification course for professionals where we dive deeper into understanding the pelvic floor and how to help all the lovely notes that it loves to play.
Guest blog post by Annatina Schorno-Pitsch, PT a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist and Leading Expert on the Core Exercise Solutions Team. To see Annatina at her clinic in-person in Switzerland, visit her website for more information: http://www.fitallegra.ch/
To see her online, join us in the all-access membership to learn more about pelvic floor and abdominal strength or professional CEU Inner Circle course. Annatina is an expert in both the membership group to help moms and the Inner Circle group to help professionals.
Is there any way to prevent air from escaping from your vagina after sex? My boyfriend and I are kind of rough and change positions a lot, and when he pulls out, it sounds like my vagina is farting ): it’s really embarrassing! He says he doesn’t care, and we laugh every time it happens, but I still wish it wouldn’t happen.
This is a totally normal thing that happens to people all the time. Some people call it queefing. The sound you’re hearing is air that gets pushed into the vagina being expelled.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t any way to prevent this from happening. Sex involves bodies, and bodies do weird things sometimes. Even if queefing sounds kind of like a fart, there are no intestinal gasses being expelled, so there’s no odor. Air can get pushed into the vagina and then released during sex, stretching, or exercise. During sex, fingers or a penis can trap air inside the vagina when they move in and out. This can happen during some positions more than others, so you might notice it happening sometimes, but not all the time.
It can be a little embarrassing, but it sounds like you and your boyfriend have it figured out — laughing it off or ignoring it is about the best solution we can think of. Believe your boyfriend when he says he doesn’t care, and hopefully soon you won’t either. In a perfect world, you might prefer to never queef, but as it is, you might as well laugh about it.
Tags: awkward, embarrassing, queefing, sex
IS THIS NORMAL?: I can’t stop queefing during sex
Image zoom Anna Buckley/HelloGiggles
You’ve got embarrassing, tricky, bizarre, and otherwise unusual life questions, we’ve got answers. Welcome to Is This Normal? — a no-nonsense, no-judgment advice column from HelloGiggles. Send your questions to [email protected] and we’ll track down expert advice you can trust.
Dear Is This Normal?,
I started having sex with guys a few months ago for the first time in my life (I’d only ever had sex with women before) and now I queef every single time I have sex! Is this normal?? Can I stop it? Help!
— Queefing in Quebec
I know you’re probably feeling pretty red-faced right now, but what you’re experiencing is definitely normal. Queefing — also known as vaginal farting, vaginal flatulence, and “flatus vaginalis” in Latin, if you’re fancy — happens when air gets pushed into your vagina and decides to make its way out with the subtlety of a brass band at a swing dance party.
A queef is not the same as fart — there’s no fermentation involved — so this puff of air won’t smell bad. But the noise can be pretty loud, and obviously it sounds like a fart, so there’s some understandable social discomfort attached to queefing.
There isn’t a ton of scientific research on the ~prevalence~ of queefing, but a 2012 study of 18- to 80-year-old Iranian women found that 20% had experienced “vaginal flatus,” with 54% of those women reporting that their queefs happened during sex.
Honestly, though, that seems pretty low. Especially since an informal survey of the women around me revealed that literally all of them had queefed at one time or another.
But regardless, vaginal toots aren’t harmful. (And BTW, they can happen during same-sex intercourse, too!)
They may be a sign of pelvic floor weakness, but women who have given birth, had surgery, or experienced a trauma, and even certain types of athletes — runners, for instance — are more likely to have weak pelvic floors. So no stress.
The only time chronic vaginal flatulence might be a sign of a health issue is in the case of a vaginal fistula, explains women’s health expert Dr. Jennifer Wider. That’s an “abnormal opening that connects your vagina to another organ,” according to the Mayo Clinic. So if you notice you’re queefing day in, day out, see your doctor. If you don’t have a fistula or other major health issue going on, your doctor may just recommend you use tampons to prevent air from entering your vagina.
Otherwise, as far as queefing during sex is concerned, it’s all good.
“It’s much harder to hold in the air that passes through and out the vaginal canal than a fart because the muscles in the anus, including the sphincter, are much stronger,” explains Dr. Wider.
“There are ways to lessen your chance of queefing, though: avoiding positions that can cause it in the first place (e.g. downward dog in yoga, doggy style in sex). There is also some evidence that Kegel exercises or pelvic floor muscle strengthening can help.”
So there you have it, Queefing in Quebec. Nothing to worry about. If this happens again, Dr. Wider recommends you “try to have a sense of humor.” Laugh it off, and just try to enjoy the moment.
- By Stephanie Hallett
Queefing Is So Embarrassing, But Does It Have To Be? How To Deal With Awkward Sex Moments
We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex psychotherapist based in San Francisco, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions will remain anonymous. Now, onto this week’s topic: how to deal with embarrassing things that happen during sex.
Q: I get embarrassed easily, so sex is pretty much a minefield for me. How do you suggest I prevent or deal with stuff like queefing and being clumsy during sex?
A: As enjoyable as sex can be, it sure creates a lot of opportunities for things to go awry. From flatulence to accidental ventures into anal territory to awkward silences, there are plenty of humbling things that come with being intimate.
At the end of the day, sex is an inherently awkward act. Embrace that fact, and don’t put pressure on yourself to make it perfect every single time. In a whole lifetime of having sex, you’re bound to have things go wrong every once in a while. It’s just the price we pay for all the pleasure!
Still, there are some easy ways to minimize the embarrassment of sex gone wrong. Below, some of the most common things that can happen, how to prevent them in the first place, and what to do when you find yourself in the midst of a cringe-worthy moment.
You are going to fart during sex at least once in your life. It’s inevitable. Farts can range greatly in their embarrassment level, based on their volume and, uh, aroma. Some farts can be ignored relatively easily, but others will be too obvious to disregard.
Prevention plan: In my opinion, the smartest thing Dan Savage ever said was “fuck first.” Having sex before going out — and especially before big celebrations that involve copious amounts of food and alcohol — is always a good idea. If you’re feeling full or bloated but still amorous, then try to have sex in positions where your body remains relatively flat, like missionary or spooning. Doggy-style is not your friend in this situation.
Crisis management: If it’s a quiet or odorless one, ignore it. If there’s no denying it, your best bet is to simply laugh at yourself and apologize. Try throwing in a compliment, like: “Wow, I am so sorry. I was so into you I didn’t even realize what was happening.”
Queefing, aka vagina farts, are even more inevitable during sex than regular farting. Queefs happen because the penis pumps air into the vaginal canal during in-and-out thrusting. The air pressure builds up, leading to that unfortunate squelching sound. Fortunately it’s only air involved, so there’s none of the odor you get with farts.
Prevention plan: If queefs really bother you, you can try to avoid having your partner pull out very far. The less air that gets pushed into you, the better, so focus more on grinding than thrusting. But honestly, queefs happen so frequently that going to great lengths to avoid them is more distracting than beneficial.
Crisis management: Most sexually active adults are familiar with queefing, and know that it is part of the deal when it comes to sex. The easiest thing to do is just to ignore it if it happens. If acknowledging awkward moments is more your speed, laugh or say something simple like, “Carry on!” If it sounded a lot like flatulence, you can clarify with, “That was a queef, not a fart.” Noted.
the wrong hole
You’re about to round the bases toward home when all of a sudden his penis misses the mark and heads further south to your butt. Sometimes it stops at a simple graze, but other times, it can result in full-on penetration. Unexpected butt action can happen to the best of us; it’s a remarkably easy mistake to make!
Prevention plan: Most people seem to think that the penis magically knows how to home in on the vaginal opening. This isn’t the case — a little assistance is usually necessary. Use your hand to guide his penis into the right spot. You can make this action feel sexier by spending a few moments stroking his penis, or teasingly rubbing his penis all over your labia before pushing it in.
Crisis management: This mortifying moment can’t always be ignored. If his penis just glided over your butt crack, you’re probably fine. But if he made significant contact with your anus, you’ll want to get up and take a moment to wash off or change your condom. I know it can dampen the mood, but the anus has bacteria that doesn’t mix well with the vagina and can cause a UTI, so this is a precaution you’ll be glad you took.
Sex is a complex act! It’s easy to get caught in a tangle of limbs, get a charlie horse from being in a strange angle, or push body parts in ways they were not designed to be moved. A surprisingly large number of emergency room visits are sex-related. I’ve heard of everything from falling off the bed to accidentally smacking a partner in the face, to “breaking” a guy’s penis.
Prevention plan: Sorry, but there are no surefire ways to prevent injury during sex. Try to exercise a decent amount of caution, and stay mindful about your body the entire time. If you feel pain or discomfort at any time, change positions right away or take a quick breather. Don’t let a fear of “spoiling the mood” trump keeping yourself safe.
Crisis management: After an accident has occurred, take a moment to survey the extent of the injury. If the only damage is to your ego, laugh it off together. It can even be a badge of honor. If the injury is more intense, you may have to prematurely bring an end to your romp in the hay. See a doctor for anything truly serious, obviously.
Trying something new that doesn’t work out
The best sex requires a lot of creativity and an open, adventurous mind. Experimenting during sex will improve your sex life, but there are bound to be some duds in the mix. You may try out a position that doesn’t actually feel that great, or you might attempt to use a sex toy that winds up being too confusing to operate.
Prevention plan: If you’re planning on trying something new, talk about it beforehand. You don’t want to map out every single moment, but it’s useful to get on the same page. For example, let’s say you’re trying to use a vibrating cock ring for the first time. You could discuss when to put it on and in which positions it might work best. You could play with the toy beforehand to get a sense of how the buttons work. If it’s something particularly complex, do plenty of research beforehand! You don’t want to try bondage for the first time without knowing what you’re doing.
Crisis management: Don’t force yourself to keep going if something doesn’t feel good. In the moment, say something simple like, “Let’s go back to missionary” or “I think I’m done playing with this toy for now.” You don’t need to go into a ton of detail. If you’re worried about feeling awkward, include a compliment to your partner. For example, “I want to be able to look you in the eyes” or “I want to feel your body without anything in between us.” After you’ve finished having sex, discuss what went wrong, and whether it’s worth making another attempt. You may have unsuccessfully tried to get into Sideways Straddle this time, but you might be able to figure it out for next time.
Have fun, try not to take yourself too seriously, and remember — if any of these embarrassing moments are a deal breaker for the person you’re having sleeping with, well, then, that person probably isn’t worth having sex with in the first place.
Team Coco on YouTube
Images: Fotolia; Tumblr
Let’s clear one thing up right away: queefs (or is it plural queeves?) are the not same as farts. The clear and obvious distinction is that a fart is gas coming out of your butt and queef describes the lil sound of air rushing out of your vagina. Still, the two air poofs share a lot in common—they have similar sounds, come from the same general region, and are both unwelcome in the throes of sex.
But that doesn’t mean they can’t both happen, mid-bone. Queefing at the height of passion happens to everyone with a vagina at some point or another—I’m sorry, it’s just the laws of physics. So that’s the first bit of good news! The other good news re: queefs is that there are things you can do to lessen the risk of a vaginal toot.
Where queefs come from
While they sound uncannily like a fart, queefs aren’t that at all. Your smelliest smelly farts are the result of bacteria breaking down and being released as gas during the process of digestion, and then escaping your bod in the form of a little toot. But queefs don’t come from digestion, they just come from pockets of air sneaking out of your vagina in one quick burst.
“Queefs happen when air works its way into the vaginal canal and then escapes, sometimes making a farty toot-toot sounds as it passes back out through the vaginal opening,” Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of external medical affairs at Planned Parenthood, told Cosmopolitan.com. “Queefs don’t smell because they’re caused by plain old air. They’re basically the vaginal version of making fart sounds with your mouth.”
When queefing happens
While it might seem like a queef only escapes your vagina during the most embarrassing times (like during a silent moment in yoga or during a quiet second during your foreplay), Dr. Cullins explained that they can just sort of happen whenever. “They are sometimes completely random,” she said. But. But! There are certain activities that put you more ~at risk~ for some good ol’ queefing.
“They’re especially common during sex because fingers, penises, or sex toys can easily push air up there,” Dr. Cullins said. “Your vagina also expands when you’re turned on, which makes more room for air. And vaginal moistness, which increases during sex, helps make that ‘poot poot poot’ sound.”
Because life is unfair and we frankly have very little control over our body’s functions, this does mean that, yes, your sexiest moments are also the moments when your vagina is most likely to let out a big fart sound. But there’s nothing abnormal about letting out a sputter of queefs every time you have sex — air is a gas, and the nature of gases is that they fill their containers. Sometimes that container just happens to be your cavernous vagina.
How to prevent a queef
According to Planned Parenthood, there’s nothing you can do to queef-proof your vag. But certain things—like rougher, more rigorous sex and lots of position changes—can up the risk.
You might also find that certain positions make you more queef-prone than others, like anything where your hips are raised above your head or your vagina is hoisted up in the air in any way. Rather than changing your sex life just to avoid a brief moment of potential embarrassment, just give your partner a heads-up that, uh, it might happen! Or don’t, and bond over laughing about it later. Truly, it’s totally normal and nothing to worry about.
How to recover from a queef
Oh, I wish I could give you expert advice on how to gracefully recover from an awkward moment during sex, but I really cannot. Dr. Cullins reassured that queefing is totally “normal and nothing to be embarrassed about.” But she also said that there’s no surefire way to prevent them from happening. As of yet, there’s no queefing equivalent of Gas-X. Although the idea of being able to be “Queef-X” is sexy and intriguing.
“Here’s a little secret about sex: it’s kinda weird and messy and funny,” Dr. Cullins said. “There are smells. There are sounds. There are fluids. Sex is an intimate process that makes some of us feel pretty vulnerable, which is why it’s best to save it for someone who treats you with kindness and respect — like the kind of people who couldn’t care less how queefy your vagina is.”
So sure, queefs are a bit embarrassing, but *sighs romantically* it’s the little farty toot-toots in relationships that lead to the kind of long-lasting love we all want. In the end, you just kinda have to accept that life’s a toot, and queefs happen.
Hannah Smothers Hannah writes about health, sex, and relationships for Cosmopolitan, and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
How To Avoid Queefing During Sex: Your 3-Step Guide
First up, let’s get one thing straight: queefing is totally normal. Shawna Scott, owner of sex store Sex Siopa confirms it: “We need to accept and own our queefing as an unavoidable fact of life. It happens when air that is trapped in the vagina during intercourse is released, and the sound is a result of the vibrations of the air passing through it,” she explains. “Unlike anuses, our vaginas have no sphincter muscles to control or hold air in, so it happens involuntarily.”
See? Totally naturally, but if you’re a tad self conscious or (eek!) getting down to it with a new fella, it can feel a little awkward to say the least. Luckily, if you’re worried your lady garden might let one loose there are a few things you can do about it.
1. Switch positions
For the super self conscious, it can be comforting to know that there are certain positions that are less likely to lead to an awkward queef moment. Girl-on-top, missionary and spooning are all safe bets, while doggy-style is the worst queef-causing offender. The more you know, eh?
2. Change the motion
It’s your guy’s pumping motion that can lead to air getting trapped inside your vagina, and cause that awkward toot. You’ll want to switch to a slow grind to avoid it. Bonus point: that’s also great news for your clitoris.
3. You can, er, let the air out
There’s a simple maneuver that will help move trapped air along a little more subtly. Simply insert a finger inside your vagina between positions or during intercourse. It will help the air escape, without the noise.
Still having issues? Shawna says “Own it! Anyone who has a serious problem with queefing has no business being in your vag in the first place!” We hear ya, sista.
What Is Vaginal Flatulence (Queef)?
Air emissions, or ‘queefs,’ from the vagina occur most commonly during sexual activity or exercise.
Vaginal flatulence, also known as a “queef,” is an emission of trapped air from the vagina.
A queef produces a sound that’s similar to anal flatulence, but vaginal flatulence doesn’t have a specific odor.
While often embarrassing, vaginal flatulence is typically considered normal and doesn’t pose any health risks.
Causes of Vaginal Flatulence
Women report experiencing vaginal flatulence as a result of:
Sexual intercourse or inserting an object in the vagina When something is inserted into the vagina, it can displace the air inside.
Placing a penis, finger, tampon, sex aid, or other object into the vagina can have this effect.
It’s also common to experience vaginal flatulence during a pelvic exam, when a doctor inserts a speculum device.
Exercise or stretching Movements during exercise can cause air to become trapped inside the vagina.
Women often report vaginal flatulence during certain physical activities, such as yoga.
Pregnancy or menopause Some women report more episodes of vaginal flatulence during pregnancy or menopause.
Childbirth Pelvic floor weakness can occur as a result of childbirth and may lead to vaginal flatulence.
Sometimes a very weak pelvic floor can result in a vaginal or pelvic organ prolapse, in which part of your vaginal canal protrudes from the opening of the vagina.
See your doctor if you think you might have this condition.
Colonoscopy or other surgery Certain procedures, such as a colonoscopy, can redistribute air in your body and may lead to vaginal flatulence.
Vaginal flatulence that has a strong odor may be caused by a vaginal fistula.
A fistula is an abnormal opening that connects the vagina to another organ, such as your bladder, colon, or rectum.
If the fistula is connected to the colon or rectum, it can cause the passage of stool from the vagina.
Childbirth, cancer treatments, injury, and certain surgical procedures can lead to the formation of a fistula.
You should see your doctor if your queefs smell bad, or if you notice an unusual discharge.
Vaginal Flatulence Research
There’s a limited amount of medical research available on vaginal flatulence.
One of the first academic studies was published in December 2003 in the journal International Urogynecology Journal.
It concluded that childbirth was an important risk factor for vaginal flatulence.
The authors of this paper wrote: “Vaginal wind causes significant distress and embarrassment to sufferers. Further information on risk factors, evaluation, and treatment modalities should be obtained.”
A more recent study, published in 2012 in the journal ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology, examined the condition in Iranian women.
It showed that factors such as vaginal childbirth, low body mass index (BMI), and young age were associated with a higher incidence of vaginal flatulence.
Much of the information complied on vaginal flatulence — especially on the Internet — is considered anecdotal.
Many people believe that more research is needed to better understand this condition.
Stopping Vaginal Flatulence
Some experts suggest that you can reduce your risk of queefing by performing Kegel exercises, which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
To perform Kegels, squeeze the muscles you use to stop urinating. Hold this contraction for up to 10 seconds and then relax for 10 seconds.
Try to work up to at least three sets of 10 repetitions each day.
According to Cosmopolitan magazine, you can limit queefs during sex by choosing positions that don’t involve being bent over or upside down.
Some experts also recommend adopting slower thrusts during intercourse, so that air doesn’t become trapped.
Why Farts Sometimes Get Trapped in Your Vagina
The human body is a beautifully disgusting and disgustingly beautiful Rube Goldberg machine, with many parts and processes interacting to make magic happen. But sometimes those processes interact to make something horrifying.
Screengrab via Reddit
There are a few different names for the aforementioned phenomena: “vart,” “exiting through the gift shop,” “cooter pooter,” “sisterhood of the traveling farts,” and best of all, “retweeting.” You toot, and the gas escapes your crotch area like it’s leaving a party, making sure to say goodbye to every part of your anatomy. The fart is getting your labia’s email address so it can send that funny dog video it was talking about a while ago.
Read More: Can Sharks Smell Period Blood and Will They Eat You Because of It?
And let’s be clear, this is not the same as a queef. A queef is when air becomes trapped in the vaginal canal and then is released, usually with a fart-like noise. But what comes out of the vag is just air. Air that was maybe fucked into you, but air nonetheless. This is flatulence—gases created in the act of digestion—taking an unusual route of egress through the rest of you. “Also, it may stay trapped only to leave the vulvar area with a little ‘ffllprprr…’ with each step you take to get away from it,” adds Redditor frootjewz.
A fart trapped in a pussy by any other name… Photo by Jovana Rikalo via Stocksy
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “If this happens to me, am I a bad person?” And the answer is of course yes. It’s shameful and wrong to even have a body, let alone one with a vagina. Add to that the act of farting—which is supposed to be the sole purview of penised bodies—and you’ve basically created a monster akin to Godzilla. Anything a woman does that a classical Greek statue can’t do is disgusting: fart, have body hair, vote.
The women of Reddit seem to be the only ones strong enough to speak this evil’s name. The thread which originated this discussion had 656 comments, most of which can be summed up as “omg me too!” There are also at least two other times this has been brought up on Reddit. So if a vart is a crime, there are an awful lot of guilty (farty) parties out there.
According to AsapSCIENCE, there is a possibility of “farts spreading Streptococcus pyogenes, a pathogen that can cause tonsillitis, scarlet fever, heart disease, and even flesh-eating disease.” The pathogens reside in fecal matter particles within the fart. Therefore, it would behoove you to wipe down after a retweet, especially if you were about to do other things with your vagina. Things involving the mouths of others.
Medically speaking, varts appear to be a silly and harmless phenomena. “It’s nothing I can think of research related to either for or against,” says Debby Herbenick of the Kinsey Institute. “The body is cool/interesting/funny and the more we all accept our bodies and their sights and sounds and smells, and yes, fart movements too, the more relaxed we will be.”
So let ’em ffllprprr, girls. Let ’em ffllprprr.
Ask-Hole is a regular column in which Broadly investigates questions you probably already knew the answers to, but we didn’t, so here it is. Do you have a question about honestly anything at all? Ask us about it.
So, you’re switching from missionary to doggy style when your body emits a noise that sounds like you stashed a whoopee cushion in your vagina. Or as you settle into downward dog and your ass is pointing skyward, an extremely rude-seeming sound slips out. Don’t feel embarrassed. Bodies are cool and weird, and sometimes they make noises at inopportune times. Your vagina does not care what you’re up to, she’s going to do whatever she wants. It’s admirable, really, even though it can be annoying in the moment. Here, an ob/gyn explains everything you need to know about what queefing is and why it isn’t cause for alarm.
A queef is the sound air makes when it gets displaced or otherwise forced out of the vagina. It’s really as simple as that, which means it’s not a sign that you need to stop what you’re doing, start digging, and take up residence at the center of the earth. But how exactly does this little disturbance happen?
“The side, anterior, and posterior walls all come in contact with one another. As a result of your natural lubrication, there’s a bit of a natural suctioning activity that can pull air into the vagina,” Jamil Abdur-Rahman, M.D., board-certified ob/gyn and Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan, Illinois, tells SELF. “That air can get forced out by coughing, laughing, straining, or sexual activity,” he explains.
Specifically, queefing can happen during sex because while the vaginal walls are usually somewhat clasped together, all of a sudden there’s something in there forcing any air out. That air can also rush out if you’re waiting for your partner to enter you after changing positions and you engage your abdominal muscles in some way, like cracking up because your partner falls off the bed. And here’s a fun sex-queefing fact: If you notice that your queefs sound louder when you use condoms, that could be due to what Abdur-Rahman calls “reverberation of the latex.” The more you know!
Although science hasn’t devoted a ton of resources to investigating queefs, there’s some relevant data. Research in a 2012 issue of ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology examined 942 Iranian women ages 18 to 80 in the hopes of learning more about “vaginal flatus,” which is a scientific name for queefing. The study notes that other names for the phenomenon include “vaginal wind, vaginal noise, or noisy vagina,” which is really just delightful.
Overall, 20 percent of the women studied experienced queefing. It happened to 54 percent of those women during sex, which makes perfect sense. But “vaginal flatus is embarrassing to Iranian women, because it leads to their isolation from public and it is in contrast to their religious customs,” the study authors write. That’s unfortunate, because queefing is normal. “There’s nothing to be embarrassed about at all,” says Abdur-Rahman. “The only people who don’t experience it are people who don’t have vaginas.”
Is queefing dangerous?
Nah. It’s just a normal passing of air. There are only two situations in which doctors would say queefs are anything to worry about, and they’re both exceedingly rare. First up: fistulas, which are passages that can occur between the vagina and various organs in the pelvis like the bladder, small bowel, or rectum. ” don’t normally cause queefing, but they could theoretically cause air that’s moving through the rectum or small bowels to be expelled out of the vagina,” says Abdur-Rahman.
Don’t worry that every time you queef, you might have a fistula. If you had one, you’d definitely know something was wrong because of symptoms like pain in the area, strange discharge, and urine or poop coming out of your vagina. Plus, fistulas usually only show up when you’ve had abdominal surgery or trauma, says Abdur-Rahman.
The Ultimate Guide to Fanny Farts
How to Fanny Fart
A queef happens when air gets trapped inside the vagina. When you move unusually (i.e. during a yoga pose) or when your partner thrusts during sex, air is pumped into the vagina. The resulting sound is an embarrassing fart sound when the air is released!
So maybe you could just laugh it off. However this means ignoring possible pelvic floor looseness. If you often experience queefing then your pelvic floor muscles are too weak.
How to Avoid Fanny Farts
If you’re wondering how to keep your ‘fanny’ happy, follow Kegel8’s top tips below:
- Pelvic floor exercise – Kegel8 is here to help every step of the way! By improving the tone of your muscles you will minimise ‘looseness’ within the vagina. We lose muscle tone as we get older, gain weight and have babies, but this is no excuse to ignore these vital muscles! Strengthening and targeted pelvic floor exercises is essential to maintain vaginal muscle tone and control of your bladder and bowels
- Choose sex positions that minimise vaginal wind – Doggy style can be a fanny fart nightmare! Usually ‘woman on top’ positions are good for preventing fanny farts because there’s less space in the vagina, which when aroused does enlarge (sorry, that means more space for air too!). Some women report that by tensing their anus as if preventing a fart they can tense the muscles of the vagina. This minimises air pressure and the resulting embarrassment of vaginal flatulence.
- Yoga positions to stop fanny farts – Exercise is great for toning the pelvic floor, however certain yoga poses can fuel vaginal flatulence! Any inverted posture with your legs in the air creates space in the vagina as organs move downwards. This can suck air into the vagina, resulting in vaginal wind. This isn’t a guaranteed vaginal flatulence cure but in ‘fanny fart’ prone poses keep your legs together and squeeze the anus. This helps to minimise the expansion of the vaginal walls and prevents air from being introduced.
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11 May 2015