What is the Prostate?

Not many men are aware of their prostate until they find out something is wrong with it, unfortunately. In this article, we will go over what the prostate is, where it is, and what it does.

The prostate is a gland that is located in the region between the penis and the bladder, just in front of the rectum. A healthy prostate is thought to be roughly the size of a walnut, and the urethra runs right through it, transporting urine from the bladder to the penis and eventually out of the body.

Additionally, the prostate nourishes semen by secreting a special milky, alkaline fluid that helps to protect it and makes up roughly 30% of semen that is produced by the body. There are also smooth muscles within the prostate that help to expel the semen when orgasm occurs. It is necessary for sexual performance.

Unfortunately, it is also vulnerable to a number of conditions such as cancer, an enlarged prostate otherwise known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, and inflammation.

Why do men need it?

The prostate is key in the production of semen and the regulation of urinary flow. Let’s take a deeper look at those two bodily functions that they prostate helps to perform: Proper Urinary Function

As mentioned, urine passes through the prostate during the urination process, as it is located right between the bladder and penis. An enlarged prostate, or BPH, can put pressure on the bladder, which makes the body feel the need to urinate more frequently, which is most annoying at night when you’re trying to sleep. Additionally, it can lead to pressure being placed onto the tubes that transport the urine, leading to inconsistent urine flow or dribbling or leaking urine.

Regulating Sexual Performance

The prostate gland is actually a reproductive organ because it secretes prostate fluid, which is a key part of semen. When orgasm occurs, the millions of sperm move from within the testes through the vas deferens and into the prostate. When the semen enters the prostate, it contracts and closes the opening between the bladder and urethra, separating anything that may be in the bladder from the semen, then propels the semen through the urethra using its smooth muscles, leading to an ejaculation. This makes up about a third of the semen that is released from the body in total.

There is a chance that those who suffer from an enlarged prostate or BPH could suffer negative sexual issues. Some men end up suffering from erectile dysfunction or see problems with ejaculation as a result of having BPH. Furthermore, some drugs that are used to treat BPH can actually lead to sexual issues as well.

Who Can Suffer from Prostate Issues?

Multiple different factors can affect when and how you may suffer from some form of prostate issues, whether it be BPH, cancer, or Prostatitis. Here we take a look at the most common issues and who it affects the most: BPH: Otherwise known as an enlarged prostate, and generally the most common prostate problem by far. It typically affects older men the most, as only 1 in 12 suffer from it prior to age 40, while nearly half of men over the age of 50 will experience the issue, and the percentages continue to get worse with age. By age 80, roughly 8 in 10 men will experience problem with an enlarged prostate.

Prostate Cancer: Aside from skin cancer, this is the most common cancer suffered by men. It is estimated that about one out of every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their life. Like BPH, the risk of prostate cancer increases as you age, but there are other factors at play as well, including family history and race as African-American men are most likely to suffer from this form of cancer than other ethnicities.

Prostatitis: Inflammation or infection of the prostate, that is unique because it generally affects younger subjects than other prostate issues. Generally it affects young or middle aged men, but fortunately it has been found that only roughly 5 to 10% of men will ever have to deal with this in their lifetime.