What It Means When You Can't Stop Farting During Sex (And How To Prevent It)

We've seen it in romcoms: couples in the middle of making out only to realize that one of them has to use the bathroom, a person's bad breath becoming a turn off, or someone so hungover that they end up puking when they're just about to kiss their longtime crush. 

Embarrassing moments that crop up during intimate time with your significant other aren't, however, only reserved for the movies. They happen in real life, too. From feeling like you need to poop during sex to farting, the list is endless. Farting, in particular, is quite a normal bodily reaction during sex, according to the experts. After all, your anatomy is built in such a way that exerting pressure in your sexual region can also influence the release of gas via your anus. 

As explained by California-based OB-GYN, Dr. Kelly O. Elmore, per Women's Health, for women, tooting during sex is because of the simple fact that your rectum and vagina are positioned close together. A combination of tensing and relaxing vaginal muscles during sex, along with the thrusting motions that come with penetrative sex, can cause rectal muscles to relax and release gas sometimes. With anal sex, the pressure (and resulting relaxation) from penetration is more direct. Also, humans expel gas 10 to 20 times a day, and some of this tooting could happen during intimate time. That being said, there's passing gas during sex and constantly passing gas during sex.

Consistent farting during sex could mean other things

The occasional embarrassment aside, sometimes your tooting can become so constant that it's starting to worry you. Medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a diet of too much fiber, carbonated beverages, dairy, and sugar alcohols, and pregnancy can be culprits too. 

Irritable bowel syndrome is a condition of the digestive system that manifests in symptoms like abdominal pain, cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. Your diet can influence how much gas you expel as well. While fiber, dairy, and sugar alcohols are hard to digest (leading to gas), carbonated drinks generate more gas in your system. When you're pregnant, your progesterone levels are higher. This hormone relaxes the muscles in your body, including your digestive system. A slower digestion process also means gas buildup and resulting burping, tooting, and bloating. 

Farting aside, there's another surprising thing that happens to your body during sex. In fact, a lot of people mistake it for regular tooting. It's called queefing. 

Queefing vs. farting, explained

It is also possible for you to feel like you're passing gas during sex, but in fact, what's actually happening is that trapped air in your vagina is being released involuntarily in a phenomenon called queefing (also known as vaginal flatulence or vaginal gas). It might even sound like regular farting, but it's odorless. Sex aside, exercise, pelvic exams, weak pelvic floor muscles, and tampon usage can also cause vaginal gas. 

In the case of sex, vaginal gas happens with certain sexual activity that traps gas in your vagina, as explained by Santa Monica, California-based OB-GYN, Dr. Sherry A. Ross (via HuffPost). "Queefing happens when a penis, fingers, or sex toy go in and out of the vagina bringing additional air along with it," explained the expert. Sometimes, queefing can be a sign of something more serious, like vaginal fistulas. 

Whether you're farting or queefing, sometimes releasing gas during sex can make you feel self-conscious and want to avoid the act altogether. After all, sex is built up to look passionate, sexy, and romantic. Passing gas doesn't quite fit in this picture. Even so, the occasional passing of gas shouldn't be a cause for concern, say experts. In fact, if you and your partner can laugh it off and possibly even turn it into a fond memory, all the more praise to you.

When is farting concerning and how do you prevent it?

Balancing your fiber intake and avoiding carbonated beverages, dairy, and sugars before sex can help in the case of diet-related tooting. Whether you like to admit it or not, there are foods you shouldn't even think about eating before sex. Everyone won't react the same way to all foods, so it's important to observe your own digestion process and see what foods work before sex and what foods don't. Over-the-counter gas medications can come in handy, too. Making sure you visit the bathroom and empty your bowels of poop (and gas) before sex can also help. 

Sex positions can influence farting during sex as well. Anal penetration aside, fetal sex positions, compressing the abdominal muscles, and particularly bendy poses can increase the likelihood of flatulence during sex. In light of this, some sex positions you could avoid include doggy style, spooning, and spreading your legs too wide apart. As for medication conditions like IBS, you may want to consult a doctor to work out a proper treatment plan. 

In the case of vaginal gas, strengthening your pelvic floor muscles and being mindful of penetrative sex (sex toys, penis, or fingers) and how they can trap gas inside can be helpful. However, if you're experiencing pain during sex, foul vaginal odor, urinary tract infections, and pus leaking from your vagina, it's time to see a doctor. These could be signs of a vaginal fistula.