Skene's gland opening is pictured.
|Latin||glandulae vestibulares minores|
In female human anatomy, Skene's glands or the Skene glands (//; US dict: skēn; also known as the lesser vestibular glands, periurethral glands, paraurethral glands, or 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.
Structure and function
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. They are homologous with the prostate gland in males. The Skene's ducts are a pair of ducts leading from the Skene's glands to the surface of the vulva, to the left and right of the urethral opening.
It has been postulated that the Skene's glands are the source of female ejaculation. Female ejaculate, which may emerge during sexual activity for some women, especially during female orgasm, has a composition somewhat similar to the fluid generated in males by the prostate gland, containing biochemical markers of sexual function like human urinary protein 1 and the enzyme PDE5 where women without the gland had lower concentrations. When examined with electron microscopy, both glands show similar secretory structures, and both act similarly in terms of prostate-specific antigen and prostatic acid phosphatase studies. Because they are increasingly perceived as merely different versions of the same gland, some researchers are moving away from the term Skene's gland and are referring to it instead as the female prostate.
In 2002, Emanuele Jannini of University of L'Aquila in Italy showed that there may be an explanation both for female ejaculation 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 of the phenomenon in many women.
It has been demonstrated that a large amount of fluid can be secreted from this gland when stimulated from inside the vagina. Some reports indicate that embarrassment regarding female ejaculation, and the debated 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".
Disorders of or related to the Skene's gland include:
- Skene's duct cyst
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 in 1880.
- Bartholin's gland
- List of homologues of the human reproductive system
- Pudendal nerve
- Wolffian duct
- Vaginal lubrication
- "paraurethral glands" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
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- Skene's glands at Who Named It?
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- synd/2037 at Who Named It?
|Look up skene's gland in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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- Radiology images of the Skene's gland
- Jones N (3 July 2002). "Bigger is better when it comes to the G spot". New Scientist.
- Geddes L (20 February 2008). "Ultrasound nails location of the elusive G spot". New Scientist.
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