The prostate is found along the urethra and is situated between the bladder and the penis. Size-wise, the gland is only slightly larger than a walnut.
The prostate can be divided into five lobes. These lobes are the anterior, posterior, right lateral, left lateral, and median lobe – named in accordance to their position in the gland.
The prostate secretes a slightly alkaline, milky fluid. This secretion is part of the semen along with the seminal vesicle fluid and spermatozoa.
The alkalinity of the secretion provides the sperm protection from the acidic nature of the vaginal tract. This alkalinity has been proven to preserve sperm motility and longevity, and protect genetic material found within.
Another function of the prostate is the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is in charge of triggering sex drive in men. This is produced by the action of 5-alpha-reductase enzyme, which converts testosterone(obtained by the prostate gland from the bloodstream) into DHT.
Also, during orgasm, the prostate gland helps pump out semen. This pumping action (which also adds pleasure) ensures that the semen can go deep into the uterus and increases the chances of sperm fertilizing an egg cell.
Aside from these, during orgasm, the prostate gland acts in conjunction with the bladder to control the sphincter muscle. This sphincter muscle prevents semen from entering the bladder, and urine from entering the prostate ducts during urination.
When the topic of the prostate gland comes up, cancer is what often comes to mind. The cancer of the prostate gland is the most prevalent cancer among older men in America.
Although it has no clear symptoms, there are instances wherein the body shows possible signs of said disease. These include increased urinationat night, difficulty to start and maintain urinating, blood in the urine, and painful urination.
However, these symptoms are similar with those of benign prostatic hyperplasia. So, it’s always best to consult with a medical practitioner when experiencing these symptoms.
Note that the prostate gland is one part of the male body that experiences irregularities as one grows older. This is quite normal and harmless, aside from the discomfort it causes.
But, because of the similar symptoms between harmless benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer, regular check-ups of the prostate are done routinely for older men.