The prostate lies below the urinary bladder and is a very important part of the reproductive system in men. This gland has the size of a large walnut and weighs somewhere between between 7 and 16 gram.
What is the Function of the Prostate Gland?
The most important job of the prostate is to produce and store the slimy, whitish fluid that carries the semen when ejaculating. Semen contains about 30% of prostate fluid. This fluid is slightly alkaline, which means it has a low acidity. On top of that, it contains food for the semen, and protects the DNA of the spermatozoa. This is important in the process of human reproduction. After ejaculation, it helps the spermatozoa to survive for some time and helps them move better and faster.
Ejaculation means that the semen is pushed out from the urethra. In men, the urethra is the tube that leads urine from the bladder out through the penis. When a male ejaculates, the sperm travels from the ejaculatory ducts in the testicles to the prostate. After that, the sperm comes together with the prostate fluid in the prostate and then moves into the male urethra.
To function as it should, the prostate uses male hormones (androgens). These hormones give a man his male characteristics. The testicles produce the most important male hormone, testosterone. The male body uses testosterone to produce dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which the body needs to regulate the prostate.
Age and prostate enlargement
When a male person reaches middle age his prostate glands begin to enlarge. As the prostate continually grows in size, it may end up pressing against the urethra. This narrowing of the urethra causes a range of problems.
To start with, the prostate enlargement forces the bladder muscle to contract with a lot more power to lead the urine through the narrowed urethra. This results in a more sensitive and thick bladder muscle, which again causes the person with the enlarged prostate to have to urinate more often. Basically, any illness of the prostate leads to enlargement. Thus leading to painful urination and loss of ejaculatory power.
In case of abnormalities of the prostate gland or due to old age, the prostate will fail to function properly. This will lead to less active semen, and finally may lead to infertility.