The memory is cemented into my brain. I'm in a dark, candle-lit room that reeks of lavender and sweaty sports bras. My body is contorted into a bridge pose, and I'm surrounded by fellow pseudo-yogis wrapping up their final flows. I close my eyes, and sharply inhale. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, "FLLLLLLPPPPPPTTTT." Yup — I totally queefed. I can still picture the look of bemusement that came over the instructor's face. I can still feel the humble humiliation settling into my stomach, followed by a sly gotcha! from my vagina. The experience led me to question: what is queefing?
A queef, colloquially referred to as a "vagina fart", is defined as, "Slang: Vulgar. an expulsion of air through the vagina," by Dictionary.com (and should be noted, has not yet been defined by Merriam Webster). I found this definition to be somewhat vague, so I decided to further investigate, by consulting Dr. Uchenna Ossai, a pelvic health PT and the founder of YouSeeLogic. The world deserves answers.
"Ahhh... queefing," Ossai mused to Elite Daily. "Though it has the potential to be incredibly embarrassing, queefing is about as natural as apple pie. The key ingredient when it comes to queefing is air that is trapped in the vagina through some type of penetration, whether it was for a pelvic examination or sexy-time fun." Interesting — according to this definition, and considering the amount one distorts their body during a typical-60 minute yoga sesh, it would nearly impossible not to queef. A queef is simply the result of air escaping the vagina!
"During sex it is most likely to occur when you feel tense and aroused, or after you've orgasmed and the tension has been released," Ossai continues. "A large player in the 'air traffic control' in your vagina are your pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic floor muscles must have adequate strength and coordination (they contract when you need to contract and they relax when you need them to relax) in order to properly control the air flow coming in and out of your vagina."
But wait, does this mean that the weaker your vaginal muscles, the more susceptible you are to uncontrollable queefing? "If your pelvic floor is weak or you have some architectural changes after giving birth or pelvic surgery, the first line intervention is pelvic floor muscle strengthening," Ossai confirms. So while it might very well be true that every women queefs, some women do in fact, queef more than others. Does this mean I should start kegeling right this second? "Proceed with caution," Ossai warns. "Pelvic floor muscle pain is quite common among women, and sometime the last thing you should do is a “Kegel” or pelvic floor muscle contraction."
So, is a queef-free life a completely hopeless pursuit? If you're a perpetual queefer, is there absolutely nothing you can do? Luckily, Ossai has some ideas. "The best solution is to seek guidance and treatment from an experienced pelvic health physical therapist," she says. "They will be able to tell you what is the best approach to help you tame that queefing issue." Of course this is only if non-stop queefing has become an actual hinderance in your life, to the point that you feel you must seek help. Queefing is not a big deal — and unless you're uncomfortable, there's no reason to seek treatment.
Let's be honest: Queefing can be downright silly. It sounds like a deflating balloon. It comes from your vagine. It occurs without warning. But much like pooping, everybody queefs. So next time you're resting in child's pose, and sense a rumble from down under, don't hide under your mat — let it out!
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