In human anatomy (female), the Skene's glands (also known as the lesser vestibular, periurethral glands, skene glands, paraurethral glands, U-spot, 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. 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
The location of the Skene's gland is the general area of the urethral sponge
. The Skene's glands are homologous
with the prostate gland
Some believe that the Skene's glands are the source of female ejaculation
. 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 missing entirely. If Skene's glands are the cause of female ejaculation and G-spot
-orgasms, this may explain the observed absence of these phenomena in many women.
It has been demonstrated that a large amount of lubricating fluid (filtered blood plasma) can be excreted from this gland when stimulated from inside the vagina. Recommended procedure is to use two fingers at first to cause it to fill up, then a single finger down the middle to cause release. This may be repeated many times.
The fluid that emerges during female ejaculation
has a composition similar to the fluid generated in males by the prostate
gland, containing biochemical markers of sexual function like human protein
1 and the enzyme PDE5
. When examined with electron microscopy, both glands show similar secretory structures, and both act similarly in terms of prostate-specific antigen
and prostate-specific acid phosphatase
studies. 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 referring to it instead as the female prostate.
The glands were named after the physician
who described them first in Western medical
literature, Alexander Skene