What Does the Prostate Gland Do?

The prostate gland is an organ that is part of the male reproductive system. It surrounds the urethra and is located between the bladder and penis. It is relatively small weighing in at a mere three-fourths of an ounce, and can be likened to the size of a walnut or small apricot.

Despite its small size, it does important work for the reproductive system. The primary function of the prostate is to produce and secrete prostate fluid, which is one of the main components of semen. This fluid, which makes up one-third of semen’s volume, contains important enzymes that aid sperm.

The enzymes are referred to as Prostate Specific Antigens (PSA) and help to prevent semen from thickening after ejaculation. The more liquid semen allows sperm to move freely, increasing the chances of its success.

The muscles of the prostate help propel semen. During ejaculation sperm moves from the testicles to the prostate. The prostate then will contract, closing the bladder’s opening to the urethra so the prostate can release the semen through the urethra.

When in good health, the prostate is an important part of the male reproductive system. However, it is prone to a few conditions that are most likely to increase as men age. The most common is enlarging of the prostate. Prostate growth affects virtually all men over age 50. It can cause difficulty urinating and the need for frequent urination. There are medicines that can help treat an enlarged prostate if symptoms get bad enough to warrant treatment.

Another common health issue is prostate cancer. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. Fortunately, only one in 41 men diagnosed with prostate cancer dies, meaning survival rates are better than in many other forms of cancers. Prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy. In some cases, when the cancer is not aggressive or spreading, doctors may recommend leaving the cancer alone and just monitoring it with your urologist.

Given its importance in the human body, good prostate health is important. Having your prostate checked once a year by a urologist should be a part of men’s annual health maintenance as they get older. Having a good relationship with your urologist is important. Urologists like those at St Pete Urology are dedicated to their patients’ best interest and overall health. They are specialists who can help with planning, treatment and any issues that may arise with the prostate. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology website.

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St Pete Urology is a team of medical professionals who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of urological diseases and conditions. We offer quality care with compassion. For an appointment, call us at (727) 478-1172