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Date of last update: 10/16/2017.

Forum Name: Female Sexual Disorders

Question: air embolism

 anit - Wed Nov 24, 2004 9:10 pm

is it true that if air gets into the vagina it will cause you to have an air embolism and you could die. do gas embolisms dissolve or do they always stay inside of you and kill you. i am asking because i got alot of air and water forced into my vagina and read this on the internet and heard it from pregnant people.
 Carolyn Merritt, LPN - Wed Nov 24, 2004 11:33 pm

User avatar Hello:
It would very unlikely you could get an air embolism through introducing air into the vagina. The vagina is a tube that opens to the outside air and when you douche, insert tampons or have sexual intercourse, air is automatically pushed inside. For you to have an air embolism, the air would have to be introduced into the blood vessels where it would travel to an area that it could cause harm. This can occur in divers who ascend to quickly, and during surgery and rarely during childbirth but I have never heard of it occuring any other way. I hope this helps you.
 Dr. Yasser Mokhtar - Thu Nov 25, 2004 8:58 am

User avatar Dear Anit,

Even though it is rare, it is possible to have air embolism during sexual intercourse:

1. Especially if performed early after delivery, reason being, the blood vessels inside the uterus are still engorged to an extent and this makes it easier for air to get access to them and cause air embolism.

2. It could happen in the non-pregnant, but it is rare, reason being, that during sexual intercourse, the blood vessels of the vaginal wall become engorged and if a vaginal tear occurs and air is insufflated inside the vagina, this could lead to air escaping to the circulation and causing air embolism.

There are also very few reports also about air embolism happening during menstruation during sexual intercourse as well when the female takes a position known as the "doggy position".

The medical litterature only describes case reports of such occurrences, which means that this is something quite rare, i don't think you need to worry about it.

Thank you very much for using our website and i hope that this information helped.

Yasser Mokhtar, M.D.

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