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Bulbourethral gland

In the anatomy of the male human body, the bulbourethral glands (or Cowper's glands) are two small, rounded, and somewhat lobulated bodies, of a yellow color, about the size of peas, placed behind and lateral to the membranous portion of the urethra, between the two layers of the fascia of the urogenital diaphragm[?]. They lie close above the bulb, and are enclosed by the transverse fibers of the Sphincter urethrae membranaceae[?]. Their existence is said to be constant: they gradually diminish in size as age advances.

The excretory duct of each gland, nearly 2.5 cm long, passes obliquely forward beneath the mucous membrane, and opens by a minute orifice on the floor of the cavernous portion of the urethra about 2.5 cm in front of the urogenital diaphragm.

They secrete a clear fluid known as pre-ejaculatory fluid or Cowper's fluid (colloquially known as "pre-come fluid") which is generated upon sexual arousal.

Cowper's glands in males are homologous to Bartholin's glands in females.


Each gland is made up of several lobules, held together by a fibrous investment. Each lobule consists of a number of acini, lined by columnar epithelial cells[?], opening into one duct, which joins with the ducts of other lobules outside the gland to form the single excretory duct.

Note: The first version of this article was taken from the public domain text of the 1918 edition of Gray's Anatomy, and so may not reflect modern anatomical knowledge -- please update as necessary

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... in the male, where the opening is not quite where it should be (it occurs lower than normal in hypospadias). A chordee[?] is when the urethra develops between th ...

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