What is Vaginal Flatulence?

Greer Hed

Vaginal flatulence is the expulsion of trapped air from the vagina that usually occurs during or immediately after sexual intercourse. Although air expelled from the vagina is usually odorless and does not contain waste gases like methane, the sound of a flatus vaginalis is similar to that of anal flatulence. A common slang term for it, "queef," probably describes this sound in an onomatopoeic fashion. In most cases, expelling air from the vagina is normal and not a cause for concern, although many women find the sound embarrassing, particularly if it occurs during intercourse. There are some cases in which this flatulence may indicate a more serious medical condition, however, such as a rectovaginal fistula or female genital prolapse.

Vaginal flatulence may be caused by intense exercise.
Vaginal flatulence may be caused by intense exercise.

During sexual intercourse, the movement of the penis in and out of the vagina forces air to become trapped inside the vaginal canal. This air must then be expelled, in the form of a flatus vaginalis. Penetration of the vagina is the most common cause of vaginal flatulence, but it may also be caused by other forms of sexual contact, such as manual or oral stimulation, or even by intense exercise or stretching. Forcing air into the vaginal canal on purpose can be potentially dangerous, as it can lead to a condition called an air embolism, in which air bubbles are forced into the bloodstream.

Vaginal flatulence can occur during or immediately after vaginal intercourse.
Vaginal flatulence can occur during or immediately after vaginal intercourse.

Although expelling air trapped in the vagina is often normal, many women find the noise it makes embarrassing and attempt to find methods to stop it from happening. A common method for reducing instances of vaginal flatulence is to strengthen the vaginal walls and pelvic floor by performing Kegel exercises, or simply Kegels. Kegel exercises involve the contraction and relaxation of the pubococcygeus muscles that stretch from the tailbone, or coccyx, to the pubic bone. Strengthening these muscles in the pelvis causes the vagina to clench more tightly during intercourse, forming a more complete seal that does not allow as much air to enter the vagina. Using a sexual lubricant may also help to reduce the flatulence.

Vaginal flatulence can occur as a result of intense stretching.
Vaginal flatulence can occur as a result of intense stretching.

Since vaginal flatulence is usually only composed of air, a flatus vaginalis that has a foul odor may indicate a condition called a rectovaginal fistula. A fistula is a passageway that forms between organs or vessels in the body that are usually not connected to one another, such as the rectum and the vagina. Rectovaginal fistulas may form as a complication of pregnancy or surgery, or their formation may be connected to an infection. They can cause incontinence and infections of the vagina and urinary tract. Another condition that is linked to this type of flatulence is a complication of childbirth known as female genital prolapse, which causes the vaginal canal to fall out of its normal place.

Several different forms of sexual contact, not just intercourse, may cause vaginal flatulence.
Several different forms of sexual contact, not just intercourse, may cause vaginal flatulence.

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Discussion Comments


It's very much normal after sex. A foreign body was inside your vagina, causing air to get trapped inside during intense coital movements. Mature men don't have a problem with it; it's a natural response to feel embarrassed about it. Find a way to make it seem normal, joke about it, and eventually it will be a normal, if undesirable sound.


These are normal and nothing to be embarrassed about. Most of the ignorance comes from immature males who think it is OK to make fun of the woman. Ladies, don't be ashamed of this; be ashamed of the lame guy you chose to have sex with.

It's all good clean fun. They are the easiest to make when in the doggy position. Oh, and there's no smell either, ignorant ones.


What if it causes you pain on the left side? Could something be damaged?


I read a book once where the author mentioned that it was possible to die from an air embolism caused by forcing air up into the vagina, and it completely freaked me out.

Obviously it doesn't happen during normal sex, but I couldn't help but feel scared whenever I thought about it. Eventually I read more about it and realized it wasn't something that happened except under unusual circumstances.


@indigomoth - I've never really felt embarrassed about it. I mean, most sensible people realize that when you thrust something into something else quickly it's probably going to move some air about. I've never had that kind of excessive flatulence, but then I've never been annoyed at my boyfriend for farting either, so I'd expect him to show me the same courtesy, particularly since it's partly his doing.

I have to say, though, the first time it happened I was completely shocked, because no one had ever mentioned it to me before. I've seen people mention queefing on TV now, but I don't remember ever hearing about it before it happened to me.


This is one of the reasons you really have to have a good sense of humor in a long term relationship. Because this kind of thing is going to happen and it's going to feel embarrassing, but it's just a natural thing and there's no need to feel any shame over it.

I think being able to laugh about it with your partner is just so important. The first few times, you'll laugh and then you'll just not even notice that it happens. There's only a problem with vaginal flatulence if you make it one.

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