Everybody farts. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that an average person farts about 14 times a day with an average volume of one-half liter of gas per day. You release a lot of air but each fart isn’t exactly the same.
As a matter of fact, some farts are subtle and others loud. The big question is why do your farts sound different? And is there anything you can do to make a loud fart turn into a silent fart?
The truth is farts depend on a lot of variables, including what you eat, drink, and the movements of your bodies when gas escapes. As food is digested, gasses including carbon dioxide, methane and hydrogen build up within the intestines and tend to find a way out.
The intestines contract and move their contents including gas through a process known as peristalsis—or the contractions that move waste through your digestive tract—towards your anus. Small gas bubbles come together into larger gas bubbles in their way to exiting your body, and when your body lets out those gases, that’s your fart.
The sound of your fart is dependent on the vibrations produced as the gas exits your anal canal.
The sounds of farts are shaped by their expulsion velocity as well as the shape and size of the anal sphincter opening at the moment of passing. The smaller the size of the exit point, the higher the pitch will be. And the larger the opening at the moment, the lower the sound.
There are however many likely factors that determine the size of the anus in general at that moment of a fart, including general resting tone of the anus and other behavioural factors.
You can manipulate the sound of farts by relaxing and tightening the external anal sphincter and diaphragm to change pitch, volume and duration of sounds.
That anal sphincter tightening similar to what you’d do while trying to hold in your poop could lead to a squeakier, shorter fart. Furthermore, the expulsion velocity—or how fast the air is exiting your body—plays a role, too. If the air is coming out faster, your fart would be more likely to sound louder.
More so, if swallowed air is triggering your fart (a common cause for majority of farts), they tend to be louder but less smelly. If your fart is primarily driven from digestion and bacterial fermentation, it will tend to be smaller in volume and sound, but stinkier.
In a lot of cases, whether your fart is loud, soft, squeaky, or sonorous, it’s really nothing to worry about. There are some times however, when your farts may signal a medical issue.
You may want to seek medical advice from your doctor if your farts are associated symptoms of faecal incontinence, frequent involuntary passage of gas, persistent abdominal discomfort, abdominal distention or passage of blood.
Your doctor may inquire about your diet, bowel movement pattern, family history, or other medical conditions and examine you to determine if you might have a medical condition that requires further evaluation or treatment for issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, or other gastrointestinal conditions.