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There's something about vaginal farts that makes them more awkward than "regular farts", even though we women have probably all experienced them — perhaps during sex, or afterward, or in the middle of a very public yoga lesson — and popular media such as Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post, and Metro have also written about these "queefs", as they're popularly called.

What causes queefs, though? Should you be worried if you experience flatus vaginalis (The Latin, scientific term for the phenomenon), and is there anything you can do to make them stop?

Flatus Vaginalis Or 'Queefing': Normal Or Not?

You'll be relieved to know that queefs are rarely anything to worry about. They're really just air that found its way into your vagina coming back out again — it's got nowhere else to go but out! It's no surprise that queefs are associated with activities that may bring air into the vaginal cavity in the first place, mainly sex and exercise, though any movement can provoke a queef. 

There are also instances in which queefing can indicate a more serious underlying problem, however. Both rectovaginal fistula and a prolapse can lead to frequent queefing, and these are conditions that require a doctor's attention. Is your queefing a problem or not? The best way to determine that would be to look at the other symptoms of these two medical problems. 

A rectovaginal fistula is a connection between the rectum and vagina, something that may occur as the result of childbirth, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease, complications from a previous surgery, or cancer treatment. Women who have a rectovaginal fistula may find fecal matter making its way into (and out of) the vaginal cavity. In this case, a queef can also become a true fart, as gas from the rectum is passed through the vagina. 

Such a fistula can lead to infections, discomfort or outright pain, skin irritation, and be a real blow to your self-confidence as well. Any woman who suspects she might have one should seek prompt medical attention. Various forms of surgery can be performed to fix the fistula. 

A prolapse, on the other hand, is a situation in which an organ strays from its intended position. The bladder, rectum, and uterus can prolapse into the vaginal cavity, While this is unlikely to lead to pain, it can be uncomfortable and cause an odd sensation.

If you have a prolapse, something that is more common in women who have given birth and obese women, you will have the feeling that something is "falling into your vagina" — because it actually is. Again, see a doctor. The use of a pessary is a minimally invasive way to deal with the problem, while surgery will be recommended in some cases.

How To Stop Queefs In Their Tracks

If you do not have any medical problems but still experience flatus vaginalis quite a bit, you may try strengthening your pelvic floor muscles with the help of Kegel exercises. If your queefs mainly happen during sports, it is also possible to insert a small tampon while you exercise. This will prevent air from entering the vagina, thereby eliminating the possibility of queefs. 

As for queefs during or after sex, the best I can do is recommend that you develop the same sense of humor or acceptance toward them as you must have with regular farts. Bodies do all sorts of things, including queefing, and people are going to encounter a lot of those things in intimate settings — that's just part of the human experience!

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