Prostate Gland - Position Structure and Function
Know your Body

Know Your Prostate

Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi profile Authored by Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi on 23 Jun 2014 - 17:34.

Only males have a prostate gland. It is responsible to produce secretions which form a part of the semen the thick, sticky and tenacious fluid which also contains the life forming sperms. Without a prostate sex drive in a man just vanishes making his life miserable in the eyes of his own lady love.

Position and Structure: The prostate gland is a chestnut- shaped organ surrounding the first part of the urethra (the prostatic part) the tube which carries urine and semen in the male.

The prostate gland is situated within the pelvic cavity just under the urinary bladder and in front of the rectum. Its anatomical position just in front of the rectum enables doctors to pass one or two gloved fingers in the lubricated empty rectum and determine whether the gland is hard or enlarged.

It's made of two areas: the inner zone, which produces secretions to keep the lining of the male urethra moist, and the outer zone, which produces seminal fluids to facilitate the passage of semen into the female. This male accessory sex gland plays a double role in respect of copulation and breeding.

The urethra is a double-stemmed tube which has two openings one coming from the urinary bladder for transmission of urine and the other from the prostate to transmit semen into the male organ called penis.

It is believed and correctly so that the only function of the prostate is to supply sufficient fluid volume to fill the vagina and carry semen up the uterine horns to the ovaries and give the sperms a good start for their journey to impregnate an egg and ensure fertilization. It is also believed that the prostatic fluid is essential to make the sperms mobile.

Function: The prostate is an important gland which contributes to a normal sex life in males. To a great degree, the very existence of human race depends on the prostate gland.

At each ejaculation the testes provides over 200 million sperms. The main task of the prostate is to produce a fluid that can dilute them to the extent of thousands for one. The fluid it produces is indeed very special containing proteins, enzymes, fats and sugars to nourish the fragile sperms. This fluid maintains the alkalinity to overcome the deadly acidity of the female reproductive tract, mainly the vagina. Thus it enables the sperms to swim to their final destination into the female reproductive tract.

The prostate gland gets orders from the lower end of the spinal cord when exactly it should empty its contents during sexual excitement, at which point, the sphincter at the neck of the bladder close to prevent escape of urine through the urethra.

Seminal Vesicles: Simultaneously the seminal vesicles two in number, which are the store house for the sperms, are made to open up and their fluid mixes with the prismatic fluid to form the semen which is ejaculated through the urethra. In a spoon of the fluid, about 20 percent is contributed by the seminal vesicles. The rest of the fluid comes from the prostate. All this happens in seconds as soon as orders are released for ejaculation.

The male urethra is around 6 to 8 inches in length. About one inch of this passes through the middle lobe of the prostate. Invariably this is the part of the urethra which gets narrowed or even closed whenever the prostate gland is enlarged mostly in the elderly.

Conditions of the prostate: Infections and cancer of the prostate gland also cause narrowing of the prismatic part of the urethra. If the blockage in the prismatic urethra is partial, the victim experiences the common symptom triad. In some cases when there is total blockage as a result of massive enlargement especially in cancer of the gland, the urine causes a backflow to the kidneys resulting in enlargement of the kidneys called Hydronephrosis.

Prostate Enlargement: As we grow older the production of testicular hormone diminishes. Instead of the expected shrinkage in size, the prostate gets enlarged. This enlargement may be benign or malignant. When benign we call it BPH (Benign Peristaltic Hypertrophy). In all cases of enlargement of prostate one should always get his blood examined for PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) which shows increased levels of it, if there is malignancy.

ED (Erectile Dysfunction) This is one important complication in cases where there is enlargement of prostate, when the victim experiences inability in erection of the penis. However, by the time this happens, presuming the prostate is the cause, the victim is old enough to reconcile himself and face this problem in silence since it occurs usually after 60 years.

The worst complication that can occur in cases pf prismatic enlargement is total blockage of the urethra and the resulting retention of urine. This is an emergency condition which warrants immediate surgical relief through catheterization (passing a rubber catheter through the penis and leaving it in-situ or opening the bladder and fixing an indwelling catheter) to prevent bursting of the overloaded bladder.


*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.