Why Are You Farting During Sex?

Farting during sex can be embarrassing and awkward, but it's a natural bodily function that can happen to anyone. "It's normal for people to pass gas 10 to 20 times per day, and your colon isn't really concerned with what else may be going on,” Elizabeth Blaney, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, told Health. “It can happen at inopportune times.”

Farting during sex may be bad timing, but it's also possible for vaginal or anal penetrative sex to trigger gas. 

Couple cuddles in bed

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What Causes Farting During Sex? 

Everyone has gas in their digestive tract, either from swallowing air or from digestion, that’s released via burping or farting. During vaginal sex, thrusting can put pressure on the lower part of your rectum, which is close to the upper part of your vagina (near the cervix), making it harder to hold in gas. During anal sex, you're putting direct pressure on the rectum and relaxing additional muscles in your anus. 

Gas and stool are also controlled by two sphincters, aka rings of muscles, in your anus. "[There's] an internal one that's automatic and an external one that you can voluntarily squeeze and relax," said Dr. Blaney. "Fortunately, most of the time, the rectum will hold its contents — including gas — during sex with no problem. But any muscle in the body can get fatigued and fail to do its job; the anal sphincter is no exception."

What If You're Always Farting During Sex?

It's one thing to have the occasional fart during sex. But constantly farting during sex, or having trouble controlling your bowel movements, can be a sign of a health condition like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

People with IBS experience symptoms that affect the digestive system, like cramps, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. Sex can actually jumpstart these IBS symptoms – including farting and loss of bowel control – which can make sex a mentally and physically challenging activity.

If you have other symptoms outside of the bedroom — like a sudden onset of diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss, or blood in the stool — see your healthcare provider. They can refer you to a gastroenterologist, who can help determine if you have IBS or another digestive culprit.

Can Pregnancy Make You Fart During Sex? 

During pregnancy, increasing progesterone levels relax your muscles, including your intestines. These relaxed muscles can slow digestion and cause gas buildup, leading to more farting at any time, including during sex. A slow-moving digestive tract can also cause uncomfortable constipation. Having relaxed muscles can also make it more challenging to control farting. 

Is Vaginal Gas a Type of Fart? 

People with a vagina can also experience vaginal gas or vaginal farting during sex, also known as queefing. However, this is not the same thing as regular farting.

Queefing happens when trapped air gets pushed out of the vagina, not the anus. Placing things into the vagina (like a penis or sex toy) and thrusting tend to push air into the vagina. Thrusting during sex can make this trapped air make a farting sound as it escapes the vagina. 

Queefing can be embarrassing, but it can happen to anyone with a vagina. You may also be more likely to experience queefing if you've had a vaginal delivery or are dealing with urinary incontinence.

Can You Prevent Farting During Sex?

Sometimes farting during sex is inevitable, but lifestyle changes might help you avoid excess built-up gas that can be released during sex. Here are some of Dr. Blaney's tips to prevent farting the next time you have sex:

  • Poop before sex: This can usually nix that feeling of having to fart or losing control of your bowels during sex.
  • Switch sex positions if you sense a fart coming: Try positions (like missionary) that allow you to keep your butt clenched.
  • Avoid bendy sex positions: Lots of bending and stretching can make it easier to lose control of an escaping fart.
  • Avoid fart-triggering foods a few hours before sex: Foods like onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and wheat can make some people gassy. 
  • Sip liquids slowly: Gulping down your drink can cause you to take in excess air, leading to gas later. 
  • Avoid carbonated drinks before sex: Bubbles from soft drinks or seltzers can lead to flatulence.

And if a fart still gets past you during sex, remember: "You can't always prevent passing gas during sex, and the majority of the time, it doesn't indicate something is wrong. So try to let it go without too much embarrassment or worry," said Dr. Blaney. 

A Quick Review

Farting can happen at any time, including during sex. Penetrative anal or vaginal sex can also put pressure on your rectum and relax anal muscles, making it easier to break wind. But even though it can be embarrassing, farting during sex is a normal part of being human.

If farting constantly happens during sex — and is affecting your relationships and quality of life — consider checking in with your healthcare provider to make sure you don't have a medical condition. Other side effects like diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss, or blood in the stool may also signal you have an underlying health condition. 

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Sources
Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Camilleri M. Sex as a biological variable in irritable bowel syndromeNeurogastroenterology & Motility. 2020;32(7). doi:10.1111/nmo.13802

  3. Office on Women's Health. Body changes and discomforts.

  4. Neels H, Mortiers X, Graaf S de, Tjalma WAA, Wachter SD, Vermandel A. Vaginal wind: A literature reviewEuropean Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 2017;214:97-103. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2017.04.033

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