International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 135–137 | Cite as

Skene’s gland revisited: function, dysfunction and the G spot

  • Peter L. DwyerEmail author

Despite Skene’s gland being described over 300 years ago, and the frequent performance of surgery on and around these glands, it is remarkable how little we know about what they do and potential problems associated with them. Infection in these glands was described with gonorrhoeal infection in 1672 by Regnier de Graaf (1641–1693), which was long before Skene [1] described them in 1880. Controversy exists on the function of Skene’s glands, their role in sexual function, female orgasm and ejaculation, and even their anatomy. What is their role in the causation of urogynecological symptoms such as urethral pain and sexual dysfunction? Urogynaecological surgery in this area is commonplace for the treatment of urethral or paraurethral pathology, urinary incontinence or vaginal prolapse. What effect can this have on their function and sexual function more generally?

In a histopathological study Wernert et al. [ 2] described Skene’s gland as a group of glands arranged in long ductal...


Anterior Vaginal Wall Urethral Diverticulum Anterior Vaginal Wall Prolapse Female Orgasm Distal Urethra 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Conflicts of interest



  1. 1.
    Skene A (1880) The anatomy and pathology of two important glands of the female urethra. Am J Obs Dis Women Child 13:265–270Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wernert N, Albrech M, Sesterhenn I, Goebbels R, Bonkhoff H, Seitz G, Inniger R, Remberger K (1992) The 'female prostate': location, morphology, immunohistochemical characteristics and significance. Eur Urol 22(1):64–69PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Zaviacic M, Ablin RJ (2000) The female prostate and prostate-specific antigen. Immunohistochemical localization, implications for this prostate marker in women, and reasons for using the term “prostate” in the human female. Histol Histopathol 15(1):31–42Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    O’Connell HE, Hutson JM, Anderson CR, Plenter RJ (1998) Anatomical relationship between urethra and clitoris. J Urol 159:1892PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 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):194–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    DeSouza A, Schierlitz L., Dwyer PL, Rosamilia A., Murray C., Thomas E., Hiscock R., Lim Y. Sexual function following retropubic TVT and transobturator Monarc sling in women with intrinsic sphincter deficiency: a multicentre prospective study. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct.; 2011 doi: 10.1007/s00192-011-1461-9
  7. 7.
    Grafenberg E (1950) The role of the urethra in female orgasm. Int J Sexology 3:145–148Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hines T (2001) The G-spot: A modern gynecologic myth. Am J Obstet Gynecol 185:359–362PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Davidson JK, Darling CA, Conway-Welch C (1990) Female ejaculation: perceived origins, the Grafenberg spot/area, and sexual responsiveness. Arch Sex Behav 19(1):29–47PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gittes RF, Nakamura RM (1996) Female urethral syndrome. A female prostatitis? Western Journal of Medicine 164(5):435–438PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Shah SR, Biggs GY, Rosenblum N, Nitti VW. Surgical management of Skene's gland abscess/infection: a contemporary series. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct. 2011 doi: 10.1007/s00192-011-1488-y
  12. 12.
    Moalem S, Reidenberg JS (2009) Does female ejaculation serve an antimicrobial purpose? Med Hypotheses 73(6):1069–1071, Epub 2009 Sep 18PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of UrogynaecologyMercy Hospital for Women and Melbourne UniversityMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations