Vaginal bloating: What to look out for?

The vast majority of women have experienced it at some point in their lives. Vaginal bloating is a common complaint, most often associated with sexual activity. However, it can also be a symptom of certain medical conditions.

What is vaginal gas?

Vaginal gas is also known as bloating or flatulence. As with gas expelled through the anus, it is often a cause of discomfort or embarrassment. Vaginal gas is the expulsion of air that has accumulated in the vagina. When the air leaves, it causes a characteristic sound very similar to that of intestinal gas. In truth, this is a physiological condition that is not usually a symptom of a health problem. However, in some cases it may be related to certain medical conditions, such as fistulae.

Why does vaginal gas occur?

Vaginal gases, as we have already pointed out, are the expulsion of air that has accumulated in the vagina. They cause a characteristic sound similar to intestinal gases. However, vaginal gases are usually odourless because they are not produced by bacterial action, as is the case with the bowel. They can occur in any woman, regardless of her age. The truth is that they are more common during sexual intercourse, but this is not always related. Physical activity, certain movements or masturbation can also be triggers. Vaginal gas can produce a sensation similar to tickling. Because they are often associated with sexual intercourse, most women feel embarrassed or uncomfortable during intercourse.

Could they mean something bad?

In most cases, vaginal bloating seems harmless. However, they can be a symptom of a serious condition, such as vaginal fistula. Therefore, you should be aware of some warning signs that can help you recognise this condition. A visit to the doctor is recommended if the vaginal gases emit a foul odour. Similarly, it is important to observe if they are accompanied by the expulsion of stool or abnormal fluid. Women who suffer from frequent vaginal or urinary tract infections in addition to the bloating should also see a doctor to have it checked to see if there is a fistula. The same applies if, in addition to the bloating, there is pain during sexual intercourse or in the vaginal area. Other warning signs include inflammation of the vulva or vagina, bleeding not related to menstruation, or bladder weakness. If vaginal bloating occurs after gynaecological surgery, childbirth or certain treatments such as radiotherapy, be sure to see a doctor.