What Is Queefing? And How Can You Prevent It During Sex?

A queef is a farting sound caused by air moving out of your vagina, which tends to happen in the bedroom or during exercise.

Whether you're in the middle of a peaceful yoga class or getting intimate in the bedroom, you may be surprised to hear your vagina let out a loud, fart-like sound. Also known as a queef, vaginal flatulence is just air moving out of your vagina. Activities and sex and exercise can both accidentally push air into your vagina. 


Queefs may be awkward and embarrassing, but they are completely normal. So why does why your vagina queef at the most unfortunate times? Here's what we know about queefing and what might help you prevent it.

Man and woman laughing in bed.

Leah Flores / Stocksy

What Is Queefing, Exactly?

Queefing happens when your vagina releases trapped air. Queefing tends to occur during a workout, when sitting cross-legged, or after something is placed inside the vagina.

"The vagina is potential space, meaning it can accommodate things like a baby, a penis, or a tampon," adds Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn with Orlando Health System in Florida. "Like a balloon, air can get in the vagina, and when pressure is put on it, it can create a flatulence sound."

When you queef, the noise is similar to a fart, but it's not the same thing. Only air exiting the vagina can cause queefing, and queefs have no smell. As you probably already know, a fart can smell and is caused by gas in the digestive system exiting your anus. So those beans you ate for dinner will not make you queef.

What Causes Queefing?

Queefing is just part of the mechanics that come with having a vagina, said Dr. Greves. Activities like penetrative sex, masturbation, oral sex, and exercising can all unintentionally put air into the vagina and cause queefing.

"Sex can involve a lot of thrusting, typically pushing extra air into a dead-end space," Sherry A. Ross, MD, ob-gyn and author of She-ology. The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period told Health. "Inserting tampons, diaphragms, and menstrual cups can also push air into the vagina leading to queefing."

Certain forms of exercise—like yoga, stretching, and core work—also have the potential to open and stretch the vagina, allowing air in and out.

Queefing can happen to anyone with a vagina, but folks who have had a vaginal delivery and deal with urinary incontinence may be more likely to queef. Research has found these folks typically have pelvic floor dysfunction—issues with the muscles that support the uterus, bowel, and bladder—which has been linked to queefing.

Do Certain Sex Positions Prevent Queefing?

"Unfortunately, there aren't really any specific sex positions that can prevent it," said Dr. Greves. "Anytime your vagina is in a position where it is open more, that could increase the risk of creating that flatulence sound later on."

That said, Dr. Ross believes that some positions are more queef-inducing than others. "Certain sex positions such as doggy style and inverted missionary seem to increase the queefing effect," Dr. Ross explains.

Dr. Greves adds that while it's not proven, a position like traditional missionary may minimize the amount of air getting into the vagina, resulting in fewer queefs. This is because missionary has you lie on your back, and your vagina is typically less open for air to enter.

What Can I Do To Avoid Queefing During Sex?

Queefing is a natural part of having a vagina. Although awkward at times, there is no reason to feel embarrassed or ashamed if it happens to you. Although there is no guaranteed way to avoid queefing, choosing sex positions that aren't particularly active may help. 

Performing targeted pelvic floor exercises called Kegels may help you queef less if you have pelvic floor issues. Kegels are not a proven treatment for queefs, but since these exercises can strengthen weak pelvic floor muscles they may, in theory, reduce the likelihood of queefing.

To do Kegels, squeeze your pelvic muscles and hold for 3 seconds. Then relax for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times about three times a day. Make sure your bladder is empty before getting started.

A Quick Review

While queefing during sex may be embarrassing, remember that it's just a normal part of having a vagina. There isn't anything you or your partner did wrong during sex. It's normal for air to sometimes get into the vagina and make a noise when it exits.

Your best bet is to not worry about queefing so much, accept it happens, and remind yourself that it's natural. "It's best to enjoy these awkward moments by laughing about it and knowing you both are probably having a really great time creating the queefing effect," said Dr. Ross.

But, if you are bothered by queefing interrupting sex, try experimenting with different positions or doing Kegels. These methods won't guarantee queef-free sex, but they may help you avoid those episodes of air.

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Sources
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