|Genital organs of female.
|Latin||glandula vestibularis major|
|Gray's||subject #270 1266|
|Artery||external pudendal artery|
|Nerve||ilioinguinal nerve |
|Lymph||superficial inguinal lymph nodes|
The Bartholin's glands (also called Bartholin glands or greater vestibular glands) are two glands located slightly posterior and to the left and right of the opening of the vagina. They secrete mucus to lubricate the vagina and are homologous to bulbourethral glands in males. However, while Bartholin's glands are located in the superficial perineal pouch in females, bulbourethral glands are located in the deep perineal pouch in males.
They secrete mucus to provide vaginal lubrication. Bartholin's glands secrete relatively minute amounts (one or two drops) of fluid when a woman is sexually aroused. The minute droplets of fluid were once believed to be important for lubricating the vagina, but research from Masters and Johnson demonstrated that vaginal lubrication comes from deeper within the vagina. The fluid may slightly moisten the labial opening of the vagina, serving to make contact with this sensitive area more comfortable for the woman.
Although unusual, it is possible for the Bartholin's glands to become irritated or infected, resulting in pain. If the duct becomes obstructed, a Bartholin's cyst can develop, and a Bartholin's cyst in turn can become infected and form an abscess. Adenocarcinoma of the gland is rare, but benign tumors and hyperplasia are even more rare.
Bartholin's glands were first described in the 17th century by the Danish anatomist Caspar Bartholin the Younger (1655–1738). Some sources mistakenly ascribe their discovery to his grandfather, theologian and anatomist Caspar Bartholin the Elder (1585–1629).
- Greater Vestibular (Bartholin) gland
- "Viscera of the Urogenital Triangle". University of Arkansas Medical School.
- Chrétien, F.C.; Berthou J. (September 18, 2006). "Crystallographic investigation of the dried exudate of the major vestibular (Bartholin's) glands in women.". Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 135 (1): 116–22. doi:10.1016/j.ejogrb.2006.06.031. PMID 16987591.
- "Bartholin's Gland". Discovery Health.
- Argenta PA; Bell K; Reynolds C; Weinstein R (Oct 1997). "Bartholin's gland hyperplasia in a postmenopausal woman". Obstetrics & Gynecology 90 (4 part 2): 695–7. doi:10.1016/S0029-7844(97)00409-2. PMID 11770602.
- Bartholin's gland at Who Named It?
- C. C. Gillispie (ed.): Dictionary of Scientific Biography, New York 1970. See the article on Thomas Bartholin.
- SUNY Labs 41:11-0200—"The Female Perineum: Muscles of the Superficial Perineal Pouch"
- SUNY Anatomy Image 9243
- SUNY Anatomy Image 9694—opening
- greater+vestibular+gland at eMedicine Dictionary