real life

What every woman needs to know about 'queefing'.

When your mum or dad sat you down to give you The Sex Talk, they likely never mentioned…. queefing.

“Just warning you sweetie, that when you’re having sex and you feel self conscious about your body etc., your vagina might making a farting sound out of nowhere that’s so loud you might startle the dog…”

No. They never mentioned that.

Varting. Fanny fart. Or my most detested expression vaginal flatulence. The term refers to the fart-like sound your vagina makes during sex, which is almost always closely followed by the bizarre qualifier, “I SWEAR THAT WAS MY VAGINA.”

…. Cool.

But is there a way to avoid queefing? And if you’re queefing a lot could it be a sign of a bigger problem?

What is a queef?

The first thing you should know is that even though it might sound like a fart, it isn’t a fart.

There is no gas involved. Rather, it’s just the expulsion of air from the vagina, and will be entirely odourless.

When a woman is sexually aroused her vagina expands, and therefore lets in more air, that’s why queefing is particularly common during sex.

Queefing can also occur during exercise (like Pilates or while doing jumping jacks) or stretching.

Dr Brad McKay told Mamamia, “Everyone with a vagina queefs, even nuns,” and added, “it’s totally normal.”

Can you stop a queef?

“Limiting air from entering your vagina is the key to queef prevention,” Dr McKay said.

“You can attempt this by avoiding complete penis or dildo retraction between each thrust, don’t change position during sex, avoid doggy style, and only perform sex slowly,” Dr McKay explained, but he did add, “but what’s the fun in that!”

It’s best to just remember that a queef is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. Just relax, and if the odd queef presents itself, it’s not the end of the world.

Can queefing ever be a sign of something more serious?

Queefing is almost always entirely normal and just a byproduct of having a vagina.

“Queefing is more common if your baby’s head has stretched your vagina, but if it’s happening during sex it’s only a sign that you’re having fun,” Dr McKay said.
“If your male partner makes you feel embarrassed about queefing during sex, remind him that it’s his penis that’s doing it in the first place. It’s normal, so feel free to laugh about it.”

In very rare cases, a tear between the vagina and colon as a result of childbirth, surgery, female genital prolapse or Crohn’s disease, can cause the emission of vaginal gas.

This isn’t queefing, but rather the result of colovaginal fistula.

It can cause a urinary tract infection and requires immediate medical attention.

The other thing that’s important to remember, is that it’s not a good idea to force air into the vagina. In very rare cases it can cause something called an air embolism, which is dangerous.

But vaginas being vaginas means that air is most definitely going to travel up there on its own accord, and then our bodies will ensure it comes back… out.

As unfortunate as the term ‘queef’ is,  it’s also… a little bit funny.

So let’s just own it, and have a giggle.