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Vaginal wind – what’s the cause of queefing?

As a pelvic floor and vaginitis expert I am referred several patients a year who have concerns about excessive vaginal wind. It is unknown how many women have this concern as many don’t discuss it out of embarrassment. Physical manipulation causes air to move in and out of the vagina (for example with intercourse or with insertion of a speculum), vaginal wind is expected after these activities. However, some women describe the passage of loud air from their vagina at other times, and it is this random passage of air that is typically reported as distressing.

The first step it to understand that air normally gets into the vagina. Using data from CT scans we know that 11% of women with no symptoms have some air in the vagina. During movement or coughing the air in the vagina is forced downwards. If the muscles at the vaginal opening part slightly to allow some air to escape, a noise may result.

There are only causes two sources of the air/gas that produces vaginal flatulence:

  • The normal air that gets into the vagina.
  • Air that comes from the bowel. This implies a fistula, a connection between the bowel and the vagina, allowing gas (and sometimes fecal matter) to pass from the bowel into the vagina.

Contrary to popular belief among gynecologists, a vaginal infection does not cause vaginal wind. While there is gas forming bacteria, these are not typically vaginal pathogens and the gas they produce is in the actual tissues of the body, so it wouldn’t escape via the vagina.

What is the treatment? Ruling out a fistula. This may take a trip to a colorectal surgeon, a CT scan, or special x-rays depending on where the fistula is suspected (small bowel, large bowel, or low down at the anus). Women with inflammatory bowel disease, previous surgery in the area, diverticulitis (a type of bowel infection), and radiation treatment are at highest risk for a fistula, but it can also happen after a vaginal delivery. If it is a fistula, the treatment is surgery.

If it’s not a fistula, is there anything that can be done as the air is a normal biological phenomenon? Some suggest physical therapy for the pelvic floor muscles (there are no randomized trials, but if the vagina is lacking support from the pelvic floor muscles it is possible more air is entering, so strengthening the muscles may help). The other option is a pessary, which prevents the vagina from fully collapsing at rest. While this doesn’t prevent the air from entering, it may prevent the noise as the air leaves the vagina. In one very small study a third of patients found a pessary helpful.

Discussion

28 thoughts on “Vaginal wind – what’s the cause of queefing?

  1. My girlfriend queefs so much that I call her LaQueefa. Just thought you’d want to know.

    Posted by James | January 6, 2013, 2:12 pm
    • I just had an excision of an urethral caruncle. After the operation I noticed that I have a lot of air
      In the vagina. Is this normal? How can I eliminate the problem

      Posted by Elsa van Caester | September 19, 2013, 12:54 pm
      • There was an increase of air after removal of cancer cells in my cervix. I wondered if that was the reason. I’m increase my yoga and squats which seems to help me a lot.

        Posted by Jessica Brown | May 7, 2014, 10:17 am
  2. What causes vaginal wind sound before menstruation perion?

    Posted by Zawadi | November 24, 2013, 10:22 pm
  3. i am in treatment to conceive.but daily the gas is coming from vagina.this month i had follicle study ,at 15 th day it ovuluted.today is18 th day.if the gas coming from vagina,shall i conceive this month?i think the gas is from vagina i didnt conceive.am i right or wrong?i want some conclusion about that.

    Posted by revathi | November 30, 2013, 1:44 am
  4. Question: My gf had one single evening of excess vaginal wind. Once while getting in the car, and later, during sex, she wanted me to be gentle, but it was pronounced. It was a one-time deal, a one off. What should I make of this?

    Posted by fred ass-tear | December 6, 2014, 5:33 am
  5. I think your lying that it happens to all women

    Posted by diego llamas | January 2, 2015, 7:50 pm
  6. Does anal sex cause. This.

    Posted by Niki | January 7, 2015, 12:49 pm
  7. I hope the air that comes out of the virginal does not prevent conception?

    Posted by Cyprian Marian | March 13, 2015, 11:46 pm
  8. When I’m bloated, I feel just tiny bubbles pass from my vigina,it feels like virginal discharge but it is air. I have also being diagnosed with tiny fibroids. Should I be worried?

    Posted by ayodeji olakunri | March 21, 2015, 3:39 am
  9. help tp get solutions on queefing

    Posted by verolyne | May 5, 2015, 10:28 am
  10. Are there other symptoms of a fistula other than vaginal wind

    Posted by dee | May 22, 2015, 4:57 pm
  11. I give a viginal birth about 6 weeks ago and since then I am having these viginal gases which is so embarrassing ! It even hurts while eliminating air , What should I do!

    Posted by Bushra | June 19, 2015, 11:05 am
  12. My girlfriend came home from a night out and was passing wind from her vagina does this mean that she had sex

    Posted by Barry thomas | August 15, 2015, 2:58 pm
  13. I have been having an unusual gas in my vaginal and it gets me worried that something is wrong with me. Hope am safe?

    Posted by Josephine | September 22, 2015, 4:38 am
  14. very informative

    Posted by willem eelu | October 2, 2015, 3:36 pm
  15. I have lost over a 100lbs and now I am having vaginal wind. Is the somethingreatest to be concerned abouts

    Posted by Claire | January 13, 2016, 7:14 pm
  16. Is all the bs we gave been thru believe me im quifing about 300 times a day I have been on a spiritual journey tht enveloped me about a year ago I would meditate and see my self as a light being and the cords I carried around from trauma relationships etc would try to leave my body, it seem as they where to be released another way cramps on my feet it hurt bad… but fall of 2015 my vagina started to fart “queff” hot air now im in the house doing all I can to release all that needs to its a challenge I don’t even want to have sex well I do but I know I should wait until all is gone….al is well do nt have surgery is a natural way of realing old past trauma…namaste…

    Posted by Myra | February 1, 2016, 11:04 pm
  17. This wind discharge has been a source of worry to me. My wife passes it sometimes even when we don’t have sex, which is not often that we do. This is where my problem lies. Could she be having ‘it’ with someone else?

    Posted by Jesse | March 27, 2016, 9:38 pm
    • My problem is a little more compkex I had a vaginal mesh places a few years ago And the mesh made a perforation of the intestine causing several fistulas I was operated three times and during the last operation the surgeon decided to remove the foreign tissue That should have ended my problem but I still have a bloody discharge and vaginal air which is annoying and embarrassing At this point I am ready to change doctors and get another opinion I am 78 years old and it’s like having a constant menstrual period If the mesh was removed why do I have these discomfort? What shall I do? Please advise Thanks

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

      Posted by elsa vancaester | March 28, 2016, 3:25 pm
  18. I’ve never had sex, yet I queef.. Well, I believe I caused it. When I was younger, we had this game on who could fart through their vagina. I became so used to it, I purposely try to queef without even thinking about it.. Do you think it has weakened my pelvic muscles? Am scared that once I finally have sex or give birth, I won’t be able to control it, like some women who queef while walking!! Am 26.. Please help me stop this bad habit

    Posted by Fairy | April 4, 2016, 4:11 am
  19. So what are the other two thirds of those who did not get on with the pessary advised to do? There has to be an answer to this horrible unfair ‘disorder’ to stop it happening, there are so many women having to put up with it and it is life changing can cause disability in later life. Is there any actual full research on this at all?

    Posted by Gafyll. | April 20, 2016, 5:00 am
  20. okay so I am a teenager and I have never had sex. When I was little like around 10 or 11, I had experienced the ability to physically “queef” meaning I can was able to suck air in and then push it out. I have no idea how I came about this trick when I was young, but now having periods, it happens more often to the point where I can be lying down in any position and my vagina just naturally pulls in air while im inhaling. I can literally be on my side, my stomach, my back, any position, you name it. Plus they are not little tiny queefs like they are long because of how much air my vagina is consuming. And I was just wondering if this is a bad thing.

    Posted by Sarah | June 17, 2016, 1:21 pm
  21. My girlfriend made those noises after we finish is that normal because its never happened to us in 7 years together

    Posted by Joe | August 27, 2016, 12:16 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Society for Menstrual Cycle Research : » Queefing, IUDs, What Men Know about Menstruation, and More Weekend Links - June 9, 2012

  2. Pingback: Farting V@gina? A Doctor Explains | Healthy Black Woman - April 9, 2013

  3. Pingback: ‘My vagina makes noises constantly and I don’t know what to do’ | Serpent's Egg - January 27, 2015

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