Holding in a fart once in a while is not a problem. If it becomes a habit, though, it may lead to pain, bloating, or discomfort. Finding an appropriate place and time to release the gas is a healthier alternative.

Gas buildup is natural. It may occur due to digestive processes in the body. Farting is a normal way to release some of the gas that builds up. However, certain social situations may make it difficult to pass gas.

Regularly holding in farts is not advised. There are some measures a person can take to reduce the overall amount of gas that can build up, such as making dietary changes.

Keep reading to learn more about holding in farts, including the associated risks and some measures a person can take to reduce the potential for excessive gas buildup.

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Most people have been in situations where passing gas would be inappropriate or embarrassing, such as in a crowded place or on a first date.

The anal sphincter plays an important role in farting. Located around the anus and rectum, the anal sphincter allows a person to have some control over the passage of stool and gas.

If a person tightens their anal sphincter, they can hold in gas until they are in a better place to release it. Doing this occasionally is OK, but it can cause some digestive symptoms.

If a person holds in a fart, most of the gas simply stays there until it is released later. This can cause discomfort due to cramping or bloating.

The body reabsorbs some of the gas. Some of the gas can even get released via the lungs. The extra gas needs to get out somehow — and some of the options it can leave is through the mouth, nose, or anus.

Holding in a large amount of gas for an extended time can be uncomfortable. Gas can keep building up, making it difficult to hold it in.

Yes, farting is healthy. It’s natural for extra air to end up in the digestive system, either from swallowing air or gas created during digestion. Farting is a normal way to get rid of the extra gas.

It is normal to fart up to 25 times per day. This number can vary depending on several factors, such as diet. Generally, a person with a health condition that affects their digestive system may fart more often.

The main problem with holding in farts too frequently is that it can worsen digestive symptoms. If a person already has a digestive condition that makes them more prone to gas, keeping in farts can worsen those symptoms.

Holding in gas increases pressure in the digestive system. This may cause the following symptoms:


Trapped gas can put extra pressure on the muscles in the abdominal area.

A person with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may feel this pain more intensely. This is likely because they have more sensitive pain receptors, so even a “normal” amount of gas buildup can be quite painful.

When extra gas is held in, the pain only increases.

Learn more about IBS.


Bloating happens when air gets trapped in the digestive system. Excess gas and air in the stomach can make the abdominal area feel stretched out and hard. The area can get visibly larger in some people due to the excess air.

Holding in a fart keeps extra air in the intestines and stomach. This may cause or worsen bloating.

Along with the discomfort, a person may feel or hear gurgling as the gas moves around the digestive system.

Learn more about relieving bloating.


Constipation is when someone has either irregular stools or stools that are hard, dry, and difficult to pass. Holding in farts may worsen constipation.

If gas is held in, it prevents stool from moving through the large intestine. When stool stays longer in the large intestine, it can become drier and harder to pass.

Another connection between holding in a fart and constipation is that it may make a person less tuned in to their body’s signals.

A person contracts the same muscles to hold in both stool and farts. Just like holding in a fart may become a habit, so can holding in stool. Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement can worsen constipation.

Learn more about relieving constipation.

It is normal and healthy to fart. Farting is a way to release trapped air from the digestive system.

As soon as a person notices they have to fart, they can find a bathroom to relieve the gas and help their body stop holding in farts. A person can relax the anal sphincter when in the bathroom to help release the gas.

If someone notices that they fart frequently, they can consider some steps to reduce the overall amount of gas in their digestive system. A person can:

  • chew their food well
  • eat slowly
  • avoid carbonated beverages

A person may also consider limiting certain foods and trying some gas-relieving exercises.


Some foods are more likely to cause excess gas production during digestion. This can include high fiber foods, such as:

  • vegetables
  • beans
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • bran

However, these are healthy foods and do not usually need to be fully avoided.


Moving around can allow for a slower release of gas to prevent the urge to fart from building up.

Some stretches and yoga poses help let out gas. If there is a time of day when a person has some private space to do this, this could become a healthy daily practice.

Read more about yoga poses to help pass gas.

Some health conditions, such as IBS, can make a person more likely to fart. When farting accompanies other digestive symptoms, a person may wish to talk with a doctor. These digestive symptoms may include:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • bloating
  • cramping
  • abdominal pain

A doctor can help rule out whether a health condition, diet, or something else is causing excessive gas. They can provide a diagnosis and treatment to help relieve the discomfort.

Farting is normal and healthy.

However, there may be times when a person holds in their farts. This is not a problem when done once in a while. Over time, though, holding in farts can increase digestive symptoms and cause more discomfort.

Strategies to release gas or prevent air from building up in the digestive tract may be helpful. These strategies include limiting certain foods that can increase gas buildup and trying gas-relieving exercises.