#Health and Hygiene

Girl Talk: My Vagina Farted During Sex. Should I Be Embarrassed?

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#GirlTalk is SheThePeople’s advice column. Have a question? Send it to us [email protected] – It can be anonymous if you’d like it that way. Women from different walks of life share advice and their personal experience to help you overcome your own inhibitions.

Dear Girl Talk,

I was in bed with my partner, enjoying each other’s bodies. Suddenly my vagina let out a weird sound that sounded somewhat like a fart but not quite. It was a slight sound but made both my partner and me sit up in surprise. Both of us were so weirded out. My boyfriend didn’t know how to react and I was so extremely embarrassed. It’s not like we haven’t ever farted in front of each other, but this was different. Since the source was different and new and unexpected. And right when we were having sex! Is this normal? I don’t know what it was, so should I be concerned? Moreover, should I feel guilty for putting my boyfriend in such an uncomfortable position?

– Miss Farty

Dear Miss Farty, 

To answer your question in one word: no. Vagina farts are more common than you’d think, perhaps not as common as regular farts because regular farts are gender-neutral, but still very common. (Oof, that’s a lot of farts in one sentence. And to think that we’ve only just begun.)

Human bodies are built in different, beautiful ways. Parts of it (or should I say… farts of it?) may not seem so at all times, like the question you brought here, but the body knows itself. So rest assured, whatever it does, it does with a reason. Vaginal farts too don’t occur without their own reasons, and knowing those will perhaps discount some of the shame women feel when it happens the next time.

It’s not all that serious though, so let’s tone down on the terminologies a bit. Vaginal farts are better referred to as fanny farts or simply queefing.

As happened in your case, queefs are most common during or after sexual acts. For women not sexually active, they may also occur during stretching, exercising, or pregnancy. In-and-out vaginal movements, such as with tampons or sex toys, may also cause queefs.

The science behind it is simple. During sex or yoga, when the vagina expands and contracts, it becomes easy for air to enter and get trapped in the vaginal canal. In the case of sex, this usually happens when penetration occurs from behind/anally. Meanwhile, exercises like headstands, shoulder stands, and downward dog make it happen. As a consequence of these, an air bubble forms. And when the position is reverted or changes, the air lets itself out and poof! A queef is made.

Dr Tanaya Narendra, medic and embryologist who goes by the moniker Dr Cuterus, simplifies it: “Your vagina is like a balloon. If you pump it full of air from behind and let it go, all the air is going to come out with a sound. It’s different from a regular fart which happens because of indigestion. In queefs, the only thing that happens is air rushing out of your vagina the same way it does out of your mouth. If it happens to you in bed, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Just have a laugh and get back to your awesome sex.”

Listen to her here:

It may further relieve you to know that queefs are odourless, unlike bum farts which… well, aren’t really known to ever smell like a garden of roses. A queef is more sound than smell. It just gives a small tickle in the vagina and then leaves. Harmless, normal, most times even unnoticeable. Three in five women I asked have experienced queefs in bed. So rest assured, you’re not alone.

There’s embarrassment attached to queefs because it’s exclusively a female bodily function. When it occurs, shame arises in women for fear of being ridiculed, looked at weird, or deemed disgusting by the person who heard it. But why should we be ashamed at all? Do we feel embarrassed when our joints crackle? Or when a burp escapes after a good meal? Sounds emanating from our bodies are but natural. Your partner must understand that queefs are nothing extraordinary, and most definitely not something to be averse to or grossed out by. The sex can duly re-commence.

However, frequent queefing may indicate medical issues with the body, such as vaginal fistula or pelvic floor dysfunction for which a gynaecologist can best be consulted. To keep your pelvis fit and clear of medical alarms, you can do exercises such as Kegels, which will help maintain muscle strength inside to assist in smooth body functions as well as great sex.

The next time you’re in bed and your vagina farts, don’t be embarrassed. Embrace that moment as an inside joke with your partner or brush it aside as unimportant – the choice is yours. And if your partner looks at you funny, tell them queefs are a superpower only women have. After all, not everyone can boast about farting from both ends of the body, now can they?

Views expressed are the author’s own. 

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