The prostate gland is the tubloalveolar exocrine gland of the male reproductive system. The name of the gland is derived from the Greek word prostates, which literally means the protector or guardian. This gland is just a bit bigger than a walnut, weighing approximately 11 grams. The gland consists of 30% muscular tissue and 70% glandular tissue. The prostate gland is situated below the bladder and behind the pubic bone. It is just in front of the rectum, warped around the urethra.
Function of the prostate
Prostate gland has a number of functions in a male organism. Besides helping to control the flow of urine, one of the main functions of prostate is to store and secrete a slightly alkaline milky fluid that usually constitutes 25-30% of the volume of the semen. If the prostate works properly, the secretion will be alkaline, which is very important to help neutralize the acidity of the vaginal tract, and increase the lifespan of sperm. Prostatic secretions contain less than 1% of protein, proteolytic enzymes, prostatic acid phosphatase, zinc and prostate-specific antigen. Prostate is linked to seminal vesicles, which produce a protein that mixes with prostatic fluid forming semen. This happens during the sexual activity when the tubes from the testicles carry the sperm to the prostate to get fused with the seminal vesicle and prostatic secretions, only to be ejaculated during the orgasm. The prostate is completely dependent on male hormones, especially the testosterone, which is produced mainly by the testicles.
Prostate disordersProstate is a gland that continues to grow throughout the life. For this reason, most men will experience some kind of prostate related health problem during their lifetime. Enlargement of the prostate is among the most frequent male health complains. The enlargement of the prostate is not a serious health problem, but it is highly uncomfortable and associated with possible complications. This condition is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, and it is sometimes characterized by constant pain to the point where urination becomes difficult. Other problems of this condition include a frequent needing to urinate and taking a while to get started with urination.
Prostatitis is another health condition, characterized by the inflammation of the prostate gland. In most cases the inflammation is non-bacterial, and causes pain in the groin, painful urination, difficulty urinating and related symptoms. Bacterial prostatitis counts for no more than 5% to 10% of all cases, and it is treated effectively with antibiotics.
Prostate cancer is the most serious prostate disorder and one of the most common cancers affecting older men. Early detection is very important in combating prostate cancer. Regular rectal exams, as well as measurement of Prostate Specific Antigen, is recommended for all men older than 40.