Out of life’s top 10 most embarrassing moments, farting during sex has got to be one of them. After all, sex is supposed to be hot and intimate — in a good way — not stinky or interrupted by a beyond-unsexy sound.
But like most humiliating events, farting in the middle of intercourse happens to the best of us. Before you crawl under the sheets to hide (or die), here’s everything to know about why the misfortune happens—and how to prevent it.
What causes farting during sex?
Expelling gas is essentially a bodily reflex (did you know you fart several times in your sleep?), but it also can be triggered when push comes to shove — literally.
You see, the vagina and rectum sit next to each other. So when you are tensing your muscles during sex, the rectum may not be able to hold gas as it usually does, explains Dr Kelly O. Elmore, an ob-gyn in California.
The motion of thrusting (vaginally or anally) can also amp up this pressure near your tush and push air out, resulting in toots.
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Whoa, so is farting during sex basically queefing?
Nope, not quite. Queefing or “vaginal farts” are simply the result of trapped pockets of air getting pushed out of your vagina.
Expelling gas via your bum, on the other hand, is either caused by swallowing excess air (say, from using a straw) or by bacteria hard at work digesting your food.
And since digestion doesn’t stop for sex, you can potentially let one rip at any moment. Even the really inopportune ones.
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Is there anything I can do to prevent farting during sex?
Good news: Yup! A few things actually, but first, it’s important to remember the following: “If you have a lot of gas prior to having sex, you will likely have gas during sex,” Dr Elmore says.
So if you know you’re going to be getting it on after, say, dinner, try to steer clear of hard-to-digest and bloating foods such as gluten, beans (you know the rhyme…), dairy, and cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower).
“As healthy as veggies are, they also contain starches our body can’t fully break down and digest. When they can’t break down, they produce gas,” explains Dr Niket Sonpal, assistant clinical professor at Touro College of Medicine.
What (and how!) you drink can play a role, too. So avoid carbonated beverages and sipping through a straw, both of which can increase the amount of gas in your body and cause it to be released by both ends.
While all of these recommendations are super doable, there’s just one con: “There is no time period that is classically stated to wait before engaging in intercourse after eating. It’s not like swimming,” Dr Sonpal says. In other words, you may have to experiment with what you eat and when in order to figure out what plan best relieves your farting issue.
Beyond that, when you’re feeling gassy before time with your S.O. and pretty sure you’ll end up letting one rip, Dr Elmore recommends popping a gas-reducing OTC, or sipping on natural digestion helpers, such as ginger or peppermint tea, before things start to get hot and heavy. Hey, it can’t hurt.
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Can any other factors make farting during sex worse?
It’s very possible that gas might worsen when you’re pregnant thanks to, among other things, all of those lovely hormonal changes.
More specifically, to support the pregnancy, your body will start to make more progesterone, which relaxes muscles in your body — including those of your small and large bowel, Dr Sonpal says.
“This increased relaxation means the GI tract is moving slower, which allows gas to build up and in turn leads to bloating, burping, and flatulence,” he explains. (Fun fact: This is also why women tend to experience constipation during pregnancy.)
But wait, there’s more: In addition to all of these fun happenings, the growing uterus can put pressure on the GI tract, slowing down digestion and leading to more gas. Sorry, mamas-to-be!
What about sex positions—do any increase your chances of farting?
Well, for one, butt stuff but (eh? eh?) that should go without saying.
As for vaginal intercourse, you’re more likely to fart in positions that mimic fetal position (like spooning variations) and/or compress the abdomen and abdominal muscles, such as doggy style.
Other moves in which your partner presses down against your abdomen or involves you pushing your legs against your stomach will also cause compression of the small and large colon, potentially allowing air to escape, Dr Sonpal explains.
READ MORE: Can Your Vagina Be Too Tight For Sex?
Greaaat. So, how do I handle farting during sex?
Well, being that it’s typically just you and your partner getting it on, it’s hard to pull the whole “who farted?!” move you used to use in middle school.
So take Dr Elmore’s advice and just own it in the moment: “If it occurs, acknowledge it and keep moving.” After all, a sign of a healthy relationship is being able to talk about anything, she adds.
Instead of spending your time focusing on whether or not you’re going to fart, which, btw, is a great way to kill your groove, just laugh it off if and move on.
It’s really no big deal…unless you make it one.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthsa.co.za.
Image credit: iStock