In this paper a theoretical description of the flow through the glottis based on a quasi-steady boundary layer theory is presented. The Thwaites method is used to solve the von Kármán equations within the boundary layers. In practice this makes the theory much easier to use compared to Pohlhausen's polynomial approximations. This theoretical description is evaluated on the basis of systematic comparison with experimental data obtained under steady flow or unsteady (oscillating) flow without and with moving vocal folds. Results tend to show that the theory reasonably explains the measured data except when unsteady or viscous terms become predominant. This happens particularly during the collision of the vocal folds.