prostate health
 

The Prostate gland - function, location and description.

Ask "What is the prostate gland?" to a group of men and you're likely to get a good laugh.  Most won't have a clue and, sadly, those who are able to explain the what, where and how's of the prostate gland have probably learned because they have prostate problems or because they watch senior golf on TV.  The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2003, almost 30,000 men will die of prostate cancer.

The good news is that the death rate attributable to prostate disease is trending lower. Greater public awareness due to some high profile cases has certainly led more men to be examined.

So, again, what is the prostate gland?

Prostate Description:

The prostate gland is shaped like a donut, weighs about an ounce and is the size of a chestnut. It consists 30% muscular tissue and 70% glandular tissue.

 Prostate gland
Click to enlarge.

Prostate Location:

The prostate gland is just below the bladder, behind the pubic bone and just in front of the rectum. The prostate wraps around the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis.

Prostate Gland Function:

The prostate helps to control the flow of urine. During sexual activity, the seminal vesicles that are attached to the prostate produce a protein that mixes with prostatic fluid which forms semen. The tubes from the testicles carry sperm up to the prostate where sperm is mixed with the seminal vesicle and prostatic fluids. This fluid is ejaculated during orgasm through ejaculatory ducts that connect to the urethra. 



Most men will experience some type of prostate problem during their lifetime. Men over forty-five may experience an enlargement of the prostate. While not a problem in itself, it is uncomfortable and can lead to more serious problems.

The prostate actually continues to grow throughout life, but grows very slowly after the age of twenty-five. Enlargement of the prostate gland is part of the normal aging process and usually does not become a serious problem until about age sixty.