Bartholin glands

The Bartholin glands, also known as greater vestibular glands, are paired pea-sized structures, lying on either side of the vaginal opening, and are homologous to the bulbourethral (Cowper) glands in the male. They form part of the vulva.

Gross anatomy

These glands are described as less than 1 cm in diameter and found behind the posterior ends of each vestibular bulb. Each gland opens into the posterolateral vaginal orifice (between the hymen and the labium minus) via a 2 cm long duct. 

The secretory cells within the duct are columnar and secrete lubricating fluid especially during sexual arousal.

Related pathology

Anatomy: Abdominopelvic
Share article

Article information

rID: 56821
Section: Anatomy
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Greater vestibular glands
  • Bartholin's gland

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.