What Is Flatulence?

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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We’ve all been there. We’re in an elevator or another confined space with other people and a bad smell comes from somewhere. The odor can also be accompanied by a noise that will often give away where the odor is coming from. It can be quite unpleasant if the smell is bad, and it can also be very embarrassing if you are the source of the smell.

Flatus (farting) is actually quite normal and the average person will pass wind around 15 times every day. Some people will experience it more than others, however, and many experience a condition known as flatulence. It is often only temporary, while some people will have it on a more permanent basis.

1. What Is That Sound?

At the bottom end of the digestive system is the anus, which is the hole where our stools finally pass out of the body through. The anus is a type of sphincter, meaning it is a type of circular muscle. Usually, this muscle closes up tight to prevent anything from getting out, except for when we need to make a trip to the bathroom.

When we pass wind, the wind is forced out of the body by contractions of the bowel walls. This causes the gas to be forced out of the tightly closed anus at high pressure. This high pressure is what causes the sound associated with flatulence.


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