Skene's gland

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Skene's gland
Skenes gland.jpg
Skene's Gland opening is pictured.
Latinglandulae vestibulares minores
Gray'ssubject #252 1213
PrecursorUrogenital sinus
Dorlands/ElsevierParaurethral glands
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Skene's gland
Skenes gland.jpg
Skene's Gland opening is pictured.
Latinglandulae vestibulares minores
Gray'ssubject #252 1213
PrecursorUrogenital sinus
Dorlands/ElsevierParaurethral glands

In human anatomy (female), the Skene's \ˈskēnz-\ glands (also known as the lesser vestibular glands, periurethral glands, skene glands, paraurethral glands,[1] female prostate) are glands located on the anterior wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. They drain into the urethra and near the urethral opening and may be near or a part of the G-Spot. These glands are surrounded with tissue (which includes the part of the clitoris) that reaches up inside the vagina and swells with blood during sexual arousal.

Homology and possible functions[edit]

Female ejaculation[edit]

The location of the Skene's gland is the general area of the vulva, glands located on the anterior wall of the vagina around the lower end of the urethra. It has been postulated that the Skene's glands are the source of female ejaculation.[2] In 2002, Emanuele Jannini of L'Aquila University in Italy showed that there may be an explanation both for the phenomenon and for the frequent denials of its existence. Skene's glands have highly variable anatomy, and in some extreme cases they appear to be absent entirely. If Skene's glands are the cause of female ejaculation and G-Spot-orgasms, this may explain the absence in many women.[3][4]

It has been demonstrated that a large amount of lubricating fluid (filtered blood plasma[specify]) can be secreted from this gland when stimulated from inside the vagina.[5] Some reports indicate that embarrassment regarding female ejaculation, and the mistaken notion that the substance is urine, can lead to purposeful suppression of sexual climax, leading women to seek medical advice and even undergo surgery to "stop the urine".[6]

Female prostate[edit]

The Skene's glands are homologous with the prostate gland in males.[7] The fluid that emerges during sex, female ejaculation, has a composition somewhat similar to the fluid generated in males by the prostate gland,[8][9] containing biochemical markers of sexual function like human urinary protein 1[10] and the enzyme PDE5 where women without the gland had lower concentrations.[11] When examined with electron microscopy, both glands show similar secretory structures,[12] and both act similarly in terms of prostate-specific antigen and prostatic acid phosphatase studies.[13][14][15][16] Because they are increasingly perceived as merely different versions of the same gland, some researchers are moving away from the name Skene's gland and are referring to it instead as the female prostate.[17]


While the glands were first described by the French surgeon Alphonse Guérin (1816-1895), they were named after the Scottish gynaecologist Alexander Skene, who wrote about it in Western medical literature.[18][19]


Disorders of or related to the Skene's gland include:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "paraurethral glands" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ Rabinerson D, Horowitz E (February 2007). "[G-spot and female ejaculation: fiction or reality?]". Harefuah (in Hebrew) 146 (2): 145–7, 163. PMID 17352286. 
  3. ^ Jannini E, Simonelli C, Lenzi A (2002). "Sexological approach to ejaculatory dysfunction". Int J Androl 25 (6): 317–23. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2605.2002.00371.x. PMID 12406363. 
  4. ^ Jannini E, Simonelli C, Lenzi A (2002). "Disorders of ejaculation". J Endocrinol Invest 25 (11): 1006–19. PMID 12553564. 
  5. ^ Heath D (1984). "An investigation into the origins of a copious vaginal discharge during intercourse: "Enough to wet the bed" - that "is not urine"". J Sex Res. 20 (2): 194–215. doi:10.1080/00224498409551217. 
  6. ^ Chalker, Rebecca (2002). The Clitoral Truth: The secret world at your fingertips. New York: Seven Stories. ISBN 1-58322-473-4. Retrieved 2013-11-03. 
  7. ^ Zaviacic M, Jakubovská V, Belosovic M, Breza J (2000). "Ultrastructure of the normal adult human female prostate gland (Skene's gland)". Anat Embryol (Berl) 201 (1): 51–61. PMID 10603093. 
  8. ^ Kratochvíl S (1994). "Orgasmic expulsions in women". Cesk Psychiatr 90 (2): 71–7. PMID 8004685. 
  9. ^ Wimpissinger, F.; Stifter, K.; Grin, W.; Stackl, W. (2007). "The Female Prostate Revisited: Perineal Ultrasound and Biochemical Studies of Female Ejaculate". The Journal of Sexual Medicine 4 (5): 1388–93. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2007.00542.x. PMID 17634056.  edit
  10. ^ Zaviacic, M; L Danihel, M Ruzicková, J Blazeková, Y Itoh, R Okutani, T Kawai. (March 1997). "Immunohistochemical localization of human protein 1 in the female prostate (Skene's gland) and the male prostate". Histochem J. 29 (3): 219–27. doi:10.1023/A:1026401909678. PMID 9472384. 
  11. ^ Nicola Jones (3 July 2002). "Bigger is better when it comes to the G-Spot". New Scientist. 
  12. ^ Zaviacic, Z; V Jakubovská, M Belosovic, J Breza. (January 2000). "Ultrastructure of the normal adult human female prostate gland (Skene's gland)". Anat Embryol (Berl). 201 (1): 51–61. PMID 10603093. Retrieved 2007-06-22. 
  13. ^ Zaviacic, Z; M Ruzicková, J Jakubovský, L Danihel, P Babál, J Blazeková. (November 1994). "The significance of prostate markers in the orthology of the female prostate". Bratisl Lek Listy. 95 (11): 491–7. PMID 7533639. 
  14. ^ Wernert, N; M Albrech, I Sesterhenn, R Goebbels, H Bonkhoff, G Seitz, R Inniger, K Remberger. (1992). "The 'female prostate': location, morphology, immunohistochemical characteristics and significance". Eur Urol. 22 (1): 64–9. PMID 1385145. 
  15. ^ Tepper, SL; J Jagirdar, D Heath, SA Geller. (May 1984). "Homology between the female paraurethral (Skene's) glands and the prostate. Immunohistochemical demonstration". Arch Pathol Lab Med. 108 (5): 423–5. PMID 6546868. 
  16. ^ Pollen, JJ; A. Dreilinger (March 1984). "Immunohistochemical identification of prostatic acid phosphatase and prostate specific antigen in female periurethral glands". Urology. 23 (3): 303–4. doi:10.1016/S0090-4295(84)90053-0. PMID 6199882. 
  17. ^ Zaviacic, Z; RJ Ablin. (January 2000). "The female prostate and prostate-specific antigen. Immunohistochemical localization, implications of this prostate marker in women and reasons for using the term "prostate" in the human female". Histol Histopathol. 15 (1): 131–42. PMID 10668204. 
  18. ^ Skene's glands at Who Named It?
  19. ^ Skene A (1880). "The anatomy and pathology of two important glands of the female urethra". Am J Obs Dis Women Child 13: 265–70. 
  20. ^ Miranda EP, Almeida DC, Parente JM, Ribeiro GP, Scafuri AG (2008). "Surgical Treatment for Recurrent Refractory Skenitis". TheScientificWorldJOURNAL 8: 658–660. doi:10.1100/tsw.2008.92. PMID 18661053. 
  21. ^ Gittes, RF Nakamura RM (may 1996). "Female urethral syndrome. A female prostatitis?". Western Journal of Medicine 164 (5): 435–438. PMC 1303542. PMID 8686301. 
  22. ^ S. Gene McNeeley, MD (December 2008). "Skene's duct cyst". Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. Merck. Retrieved 5 March 2010. 

External links[edit]