Prostate Health

The Prostate is a small organ about the size and shape of a walnut, located below the male bladder. It is part of the male reproductive tract and supplies semen, which is the fluid that sperm move in and is ejaculated out of the body through the penis. It also surrounds the urethra, the tube that urine exits from the bladder. This is why a man may have trouble with urination when he is older as an enlarged prostate can squeeze the urethra affecting the urine stream.

The prostate is not essential for life, but it’s important for reproduction. It seems to supply substances that facilitate fertilization and sperm transit and survival. Enzymes like PSA are actually used to loosen up semen to help sperm reach the egg during intercourse. (Sperm is not made in the prostate, but rather the testes.)

Other substances made by the seminal vesicles and prostate—such as zinc, citrate, and fructose—give sperm energy to make this journey. Substances like antibodies may protect the urinary tract and sperm from bacteria and other pathogens.

The prostate typically grows during adolescence under the control of the male hormone testosterone and its by-product DHT, or dihydrotestosterone.

As a man ages the prostate becomes larger, size of a walnut in the 20’s, size of an apricot in the 40’s and the size of a lemon in the 60’s. This is a natural occurrence but can lead to problems in many men.

As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retention––the inability to empty the bladder completely––cause many of the problems associated with prostate changes.

Prostate issues often start with problems with urination and ejaculation, not surprising given both semen and urine pass through the prostate on their ways out of the body. If the prostate is enlarged with infection, inflammation or disease then passage of these fluids becomes problematic.


Read more:

Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH)


Prostate Cancer

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