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What Does the Prostate Do?
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. The primary function of the gland is to provide an alkaline fluid that is expelled during ejaculation. The prostate is not part of the female anatomy. The healthy prostate is slightly larger than a walnut and is located just below the bladder. This gland surrounds the urethra. A physician can examine the prostate during a rectal examination.
The prostate, being part of the male reproductive system, requires androgens (male hormones) to function properly. The primary hormone in males is testosterone. Testosterone is produced in the testicles. There are some male hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands; however, it is the testosterone that controls and regulates the prostate gland.
The prostate gland produces and stores a milky fluid, similar to the white of an egg. This fluid provides 25 - 30% of the liquid that is expelled by the male in ejaculation. The remainder of the fluid consists of spermatozoa and seminal vesicle fluid. The fluid that is created by the gland is slightly alkaline. The alkalinity of this fluid assists in the neutralization of the normal acidic state of the vagina. This neutralization allows the sperm that is ejaculated a longer life thus increasing the chances of impregnation.
One of afflictions of the prostate gland is prostatitis. This inflammation of the gland results in the inability to start urine flow, blood in the urine and painful urination. Prostatitis is successfully treated with antibiotics. Benign prostatic hyperplasia occurs in older men. BPH occurs when the prostate enlarges and the ability to urinate becomes difficult. BPH is treatable with medications or minimally invasive procedures. One of the most common cancers in men is prostate cancer. Prostate cancer can be linked to the death of older men, some studies estimate that 3% of older men die of cancer. The cancer is detectable by Prostate Specific Antigen tests and regular rectal examinations.
The prostate is an important part of the male reproductive system. Regular examination by a physician insures proper prostate health thus insuring a healthy lifestyle.
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