The prostate is not a part of the female anatomy. There is a series of glands and ducts at the front of the vagina called the Skene’s glands, and these are sometimes called the “female prostate.”

These glands have some of the same properties as the male prostate gland, which is located between the bladder and penis. For example, both contain prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and PSA phosphatase, two enzymes that can be markers of health.

It is possible to have cancer of the Skene’s glands, which is sometimes called “female prostate cancer.” However, this is extremely rare.

Below, we explore the function of the Skene’s glands, the related rates of cancer, and other conditions that can cause similar signs and symptoms.

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The Skene’s glands may correspond to what is commonly known as the G-spot, and research indicates that these glands and ducts also play other important roles, in the urinary system, for example.

The use of more advanced imaging technology, such as MRI, has given researchers a better understanding of how the so-called female prostate works.

PSA and cancer indicators

One area of focus for researchers is how the Skene’s glands produce PSA. Levels of this antigen can help indicate prostate cancer in males and certain types of breast cancer in females.

According to older research, checking PSA levels in people with some types of breast cancer may help doctors monitor the effects of the treatment.

Female prostate cancer is “extremely rare,” according to 2017 research. According to older research, from 1994, cancer of the Skene’s glands accounted for about 0.003% of all reported cancer cases in the female urinary tract or genital area.

One 2011 study, however, suggested that other cancers in the area might originate in the Skene’s glands. The researchers call for further investigation, which they say may help improve methods of diagnosing and treating genital cancers.

Doctors may find it difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of Skene’s gland cancer because it is so rare.

Some signs include pain and a tumor. However, these can be stem from a range of other urinogenital conditions, including some that affect the Skene’s glands. For example, other health issues that can cause pain, a growth, or both in the area include:

Cysts and abscesses

Cysts and abscesses can form on the Skene’s glands when their ducts become blocked due to inflammation and swelling. These issues are uncommon, but they are more likely to occur in a person’s 30s or 40s.

Symptoms include:


Most doctors recognize “female prostatitis” to be an infection of the urethra. But some research indicates that it may instead be an infection of the Skene’s glands. In this case, the infection requires different treatment, compared with an infection in another part of the urinary tract, for example.

Sexually transmitted infections may also spread to the female prostate. Gonorrhea may spread from parts of the genitals into the Skene’s glands, for example.


An adenofibroma is a noncancerous growth that typically forms in glandular or fibrous tissue. In rare cases, these can form in the Skene’s glands.

An older case study, from 2010, describes the experience of a 62-year-old woman who sought medical care after having pain during sex and noticing a reddish-tan tumor on the outer genitals. The doctor found that it was an adenofibroma on a Skene’s gland.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) occurs when there are unbalanced levels of female hormones responsible for reproduction. A person with PCOS may also have higher-than-usual levels of male hormones.

Research indicates the Skene’s glands are larger than usual in people with PCOS. There may also be higher levels of PSA, although researchers are still investigating this.

The Skene’s glands are often referred to as the female prostate because they produce the same enzymes as the male prostate.

Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in males, but female prostate cancer is extremely rare. As a result, cancer that develops in the Skene’s glands can be challenging to study and diagnose. Pain or a growth in the area usually stem from other health issues affecting the urinary tract or reproductive system.