The Science Behind Female Ejaculation
Women can squirt fluid, often described as geyser-like or gushing, from their genitals during sexual activity. This can be pleasurable and is generally harmless if done with the right combination of stimulation and relaxation. Experts aren’t sure where the milky white fluid that makes up female ejaculate comes from. They suspect that it might come from glands on the front wall of the vagina called Skene glands.
One of the biggest reasons people get confused about squirting is because it’s sometimes referred to as ejaculation, but there’s a difference. Squirting usually involves a more significant amount of fluid, which can be gushing or geyser-like. At the same time, ejaculate is a watery discharge from your bladder through the urethra during orgasm. For many women who squirt like a pro, the experience is incredibly pleasurable and is often accompanied by sexual activity with a partner. They might even feel that they’re ejaculating on their partners. But some of these women are also unsure of what the fluid is. While research on female squirting is still limited, one study from 2013 estimated that 10 to 54 percent of women squirt during orgasm. During the study, the researchers asked women to sample their fluid and ensure empty bladders. They then stimulated the women’s vulva (especially around the G-spot area), clitoral hood, and anal region until they achieved orgasm and ejaculation. The ejaculate was then tested for prostate-specific antigen, indicating urine in the sample. The findings were that the squirt comprised mainly prostate enzymes with a small amount of urea mixed in.
Located on the left and right side of your urethra, in the vestibule of your vulva (your external genitalia), are small glands that secrete a milky white liquid that makes up female ejaculate. These are called your Skene’s glands or paraurethral glands. They are about the size of a small blueberry. They have tiny openings that drain into your urethra. Because the fluid they release is similar in composition to prostatic fluid, the Skene’s glands have been referred to as the “female prostate” — although it’s not the same as the prostate found in men. The fluid from your Skene’s glands lubricates the opening of your urethra when you pee and helps prevent the spread of bacteria that can trigger urinary tract infections (UTIs). It also has sexually stimulating properties. Research suggests that during sexual arousal, your Skene’s glands secrete more fluid, and this increased fluid may be what causes squirting. This fluid, like the semen that men produce during ejaculation, contains a variety of proteins and other substances that can cause orgasms. It’s not uncommon for women to squirt a few drops of liquid during sexual arousal. But squirting can also involve much more, sometimes gushing enough liquid to fill a glass. Whether you dribble or squirt, this fluid release is believed to be a natural part of sexual arousal that can turn many women on.
Researchers have not found precisely what is in female “squirt,” but it probably contains components similar to urine ones. One study involved seven women who reported that they squirted enough fluid during orgasm to wet their bed sheets and who agreed to have their bladders scanned before and after sexual activity. The researchers found that their bladders filled up and emptied before they began to squirt and that the ejaculate they produced contained high levels of prostatic acid phosphatase, prostate-specific antigen, fructose, and glucose—similar to the composition of seminal fluid. Those results suggest that the squirting fluid comes from the paraurethral glands or Skene’s glands and that it may be partly derived from urine. However, the results also suggest that squirting can happen for reasons other than urethral or Skene’s gland stimulation, such as vaginal (especially around the “G-spot”), clitoral, and anal stimulation. Squirting also can occur independently of orgasm, and some women report that squirting makes sex more enjoyable than orgasm without it. Besides the squirting fluid from the Skene’s glands, there is a separate substance from the Bartholin’s glands. That substance is not the same as squirting or differs from the liquid released during coital discharge.
Researchers have made significant strides in determining the source of the fluid that some women express when they are sexually aroused. The fluid is often described as squirting, though it is also referred to as female ejaculation and coital urinary incontinence. The mystery surrounding this fluid has long intrigued scientists, who have only recently come a step closer to settling the matter. The urethra is a tube extending from the bladder’s front wall. Its anterior end is close to the clitoris. On either side of the urethra are glands known as Skene’s, homologous to male prostate tissue. These glands drain fluid through ducts into the urethra. During sexual stimulation, the urethra is engorged with blood, and clear fluid is expelled through the orifice during orgasm. In a study published in Urology, researchers performed the first ultrasound scans of urethral orifices in women. The initial results showed that the participants’ bladders were empty, but subsequent scans taken during orgasm revealed that the urethra was filling with a clear liquid. These findings confirm that some women squirt the clear fluid during orgasm is not sperm but a milky-white fluid secreted by the Skene’s glands. This fluid is not urination but rather an expression of the bladder. However, the authors of this study stressed that squirting, urine, and coital urinary incontinence are distinct phenomena and do not co-occur.