The prostate gland is a vital part of the male reproductive system that serves an important sexual function. But if you don’t already know this… you’re not alone. In 1995, the London Times reported on the results of a survey that asked men about their prostate glands.
The vast majority (89%) of the men surveyed didn’t even know where the prostate is located! Sixty-two percent of them mistook it for the bladder, and only about half of them knew that only men could have prostate problems!
What’s even more embarrassing is that the women they interviewed knew more about the prostate than we men do. Knowing what your prostate gland is, and how it functions will help you understand its importance and why it can cause difficulties when it’s not functioning properly.
So What Exactly Is The Prostate Gland?
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis) and lies at the base of the bladder. This gland secrets about 25% of the seminal fluid that’s combined with sperm during ejaculation. The prostatic fluid acts as a lubricant to prevent infection in the urethra and protects and energizes sperm.
The three common diseases of the prostate are benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as an enlarged prostate, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and prostate cancer.
From Normal To An Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
In a newborn male the prostate is very small, about the size of a grain of wheat. At the onset of puberty it begins to grow dramatically until around the age of twenty. Then it normally remains fairly constant in size for a number of years. However, due to hormonal changes that take place after the age of 40, the prostate begins to significantly bulk up. The gland can grow to many times its normal size, and in extreme cases it can even grow as large as a grapefruit. This is a condition referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. As the prostate enlarges, it narrows the diameter of the urethra and puts pressure against the bladder, obstructing the flow of urine, resulting in discomfort and troublesome symptoms.
Prostatitis – Inflammation of the Prostate
Inflammation of the prostate, known as prostatitis, afflicts men both young and old. It is usually the result of a bacterial infection. For more information about prostatitis, make sure to see our other resources on this site related to prostatitis.
Prostate Cancer – The Condition No Man Ever Wants To Be Faced With
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. So if you’re concerned about the likelihood of ever being stricken with this deadly disease, the wise thing to do is to be aware of the facts so that you can take positive action to help keep your prostate healthy. Knowledge really is power. We have an entire page on Prostatehealthtips.com devoted to prostate cancer, so make sure to read that if you are concerned about prostate cancer.
Another great source of information about prostate healthis the WebMD page on prostate health .