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A woman in yoga class wondering if a queef means a weak pevlic floor

Is Queefing a Sign of a Weak Pelvic Floor?

As a pelvic floor physical therapist, nothing makes me happier than answering questions about your pelvic floor. So I'll get right to answering this one: Your pelvic floor does play a role in queefing. But according to recent research, queefing does not signal a weak pelvic floor. In fact, it may mean the opposite.

Keep reading to learn what the latest science says about the relationship between queefing and your pelvic floor.

What is queefing?

The technical term for queefing is vaqinal flatulence. A queef happens when trapped air is suddenly released from the vagina. Queefing is extremely common. Some research shows that as many as 69% of people with vaginas report queefing.

Queefing itself is not harmful. But if it happens in the middle of a quiet yoga class or romantic moment, it can definitely be embarrassing.

A queef is more likely to happen:

  • When you cough or sneeze
  • When you transition from one position to another
  • When you insert something into the vagina
  • When you lift something heavy
  • When you raise the hips above the heart, like in bridge or downward dog yoga pose

Certain activities make queefing more common including:

  • Vaginal sex
  • Any type of exercise
  • Inverted positions

How does air get into the vagina?

A queef is different from a fart. A fart is the result of gas that's generated in your large intestine and released through your anus. The air that comes out with a queef isn't generated inside your body at all. Instead; it's air from outside the body that's gotten trapped inside the vaginal canal.

How does this happen? When at rest, the walls of the vagina are in "apposition" of each other. That means they are resting next to each other, but not pressed tightly together. Thanks to the moist and slippery properties of the vaginal walls, it's easy for air to enter the vaginal canal.

For example, when inserting a tampon into your vagina, air can get in at the same time. During exercise or other movement, air can be drawn into the vagina.

Trapped air can hang out in the vaginal canal for an indefinite amount of time before escaping. If you've ever had water come out of your vagina long after getting out of a bathtub or pool, it's the same idea.

No matter how strong your pelvic floor muscles are, this trapped air will eventually escape. Depending on how forcefully it escapes, it may make noise on its way out.

What does queefing mean when it comes to your pelvic floor?

Some outdated studies have linked queefing to pelvic floor muscle weakness. More recent research shows that queefing is likely to be a sign of tight pelvic floor muscles.

Individual studies have found that:

  • Queefing is more common in those who are young, sexually active, and have urinary dysfunction.
  • People who frequently queef are more likely to have functional constipation.
  • Queefing is more common in younger people who have experienced vaginal birth, pelvic organ prolapse, or anal incontinence.
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Can pelvic floor exercises prevent queefing?

In cases where queefing is due to pelvic floor tightness, exercises can help address the root cause. Deep breathing using your diaphragm and pelvic floor, for example, can help your muscles learn to relax.

If you're worried about queefing in yoga class or during sex, you can also use movement to help release any trapped air. Try a downward dog or happy baby pose. That said, there's no preventing more air from getting in.

Queefing often? Don't ignore it

Overall, the research makes strong case that queefing can signal pelvic floor dysfunction. If it's happening to you often, book a visit with a pelvic floor physical therapist. Pelvic floor PTs treat symptoms like this every day, so there's no need to be embarrassed. As we like to say at Origin, "there is no such thing as TMI."

Your PT can give you a full pelvic floor evaluation and create a treatment plan that will bring your pelvic floor back into balance.

Ashley Rawlins Headshot
Dr. Ashley Rawlins, PT, DPT

Dr. Rawlins is a physical therapist at Origin who specializes in the treatment of pelvic floor muscle dysfunctions including pelvic pain, sexual dysfunction, pregnancy related pain, postpartum recovery, and bowel and bladder dysfunction. In addition to being a practicing clinician, she is a passionate educator and author.

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