The Skene’s glands are located on the upper wall of the vagina and around the lower end of the urethra. The Skene’s glands are made of the same cells as the male prostate, and are what is thought to produce the fluid ejected in female ejaculation.
The Skene’s glands are also called the lesser vestibular, periurethral or paraurethral glands, or increasingly the more correct name of the female prostate.
The Skene’s glands drain both into the urethra and near the urethral opening, and are surrounded by tissue that includes a part of the clitoris extending up into the vagina, which swells up with blood during sexual arousal, producing a different type of orgasm, frequently known as the ‘g-spot orgasm’.
The never-ending debate about female ejaculation, whether it even exists, etc. was discussed in Emanuele Jannini’s 2002 paper, whereby Jannini found that there are highly variable anatomical expressions of the Skene’s glands, with sometimes glands missing entirely in some women.
This means that if Skene’s glands cause female ejaculation and g-spot orgasms, and some women have no idea what we’re talking about, an anatomical difference may be why.
The fluid produced by the Skene’s glands is very similar in composition to prostatic fluid, including specific proteins and enzymes (Human Protein 1 and PDE5).
The glands – the male prostate and Skene’s – appear to operate very similarly when examined closely. This is why researchers are now starting to call the Skene’s glands the female prostate.
The female prostate exists, but bizarrely, most diagrams of the female reproductive anatomy do not include the female prostate at all and you could be forgiven for thinking it doesn’t exist.
As mentioned, problematically in some women, it actually doesn’t exist, complicating the issue somewhat.
Clinical implications of the Skene’s glands
The female prostate is important clinically for several reasons. The first is it can be the origin of infections and cancer. Additionally, HIV infection may occur here1.
Some rape cases may have mistakenly caused potentially innocent men to be found guilty based on the presence of PSA, at a time when it was believed that women did not have prostates and could therefore not produce PSA2.
Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) ad Prostate-specific Acid Phosphatase (PSAP)
Women produce PSA from the prostate, of which elevated levels are one of the signs of cancer in the prostate in both men and women.
The bigger the Skene’s glands, the more of a ‘squirter’ a woman is. Female ejaculation has been a complex topic because as previously mentioned, not all women are able to do it, while others can’t help it.
It isn’t something to be performed at will for most women, and can be rather elusive.
History and discovery of the Skene’s glands
The female prostate was recognised by anatomist Regnier de Graaf way back in 1672. In 1880, Alexander Skene brought the attention back to these glands and ducts, which is why these glands are called Skene’s glands and/or ducts.
There is a move now to refer to these glands as the female prostate, since that is the more accurate term for them.