All About the Prostate Gland

lonely-portrait-advertisement-black-and-whiteIf you are a “man” or a woman who is reading this article for “your man”, then do know that prostate is some sort of “gland” which is only a part of the male reproductive system. In other words, it a gland that is only found in men or males (yes, prostate is also found in other mammals as well).  You might now be wondering what exactly a “gland” is, anyway

What is a gland?

A gland is some sort of a specialized organ of your body that “makes” and then “releases” some substance (mostly liquid) that has some important role in your body. If this gland releases this liquid (known as secretion) directly into your blood, it is known as an “endocrine gland”. Any secretion of any endocrine gland, in general, is known as “hormone. You’ve sure heard of famous endocrine glands such as thyroid, pituitary and testis, right? An “exocrine gland”, on the other hand, is a gland that needs some ducts (small narrow tubes) to release its secretion in the body. Your prostate is one of such “exocrine” glands.

How big is the prostate?

In most men, the prostate is the size and shape of a walnut or a chestnut. Measuring about 3 cm (about 1.2 in) across, it has an average weight of 18 to 20 grams (0.71 oz) in young men of mid-twenties. By the time a man is in his 70s, the prostate gland has usually obtained a maximum weight of about 31 grams. This certainly means that, unlike most other organs and glands of your body, your prostate continues to grow as you age.

Where is prostate located?

  • If you look from the front of your body: Your prostate sits snuggled up just under your urinary bladder (actually, between the urinary bladder and the base of the penis) surrounding the tube (urethra) that men pass urine and semen through. Urethra is long but narrow tube that runs through the center of the prostate.

  • If you look from the back of your body: Your prostate is conveniently located in front of the rectum (last part of your intestine that expels feces out of your body) and just below the urinary bladder (that stores your urine).

What does prostate look like?

You’ll be surprised to know but your prostate is just like a walnut (or chestnut) in its size and shape.

What is inside the prostate?

The urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body) runs through the center of the prostate. In other words, urethra is the tube you pass urine (and semen + sperms) through. Therefore, any disease or problem that increases or affects the size of your prostate or causes inflammation or infection of your prostate can lead to urinary problems as well.

What does prostate do?

The most important key function of your prostate factory is to manufacture some of the semen. Simply speaking, your prostate produces a thick clear fluid that mixes with sperm to form semen. By composition, semen is about 65 percent fluid from the seminal vesicles, 30 percent fluid from the prostate gland, and 5 percent sperm and testicular fluid. In each of your ejaculation, there are about 75 million to 900 million sperms.

When you are “hard” and sexually aroused to the point of climax (orgasm), the fluid from the prostate gland combines with the sperm to make semen. Strong muscle contractions in and around the prostate gland contract rapidly to force the semen out of the urethra.

Is prostate essential to make babies?

Technically speaking, no! While it’s true that prostate secretions do end up in semen, your sperms (alone) are perfectly capable of fertilizing an egg (ova) without the prostate’s share. Therefore, even when the prostate is removed (a procedure known as prostatectomy), most men can live without it quite happily.

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