Understanding The Anatomy Of The Prostate
Despite its importance, the prostate gland in an adult man is only about the size and shape of a walnut and weighs less than 1 ounce .
It is located below the bladder, above the pelvic floor muscles, and in front of the rectum.
The prostate reaches its mature size during puberty and will keep its walnut size until the man is in his late forties or early fifties. After this age, it slowly begins to enlarge.
The prostate, which surrounds the urethra, is made up of glandular, stromal tissue, and smooth muscles fused within a capsule.
Though the prostate gland is often referenced as a singular entity, it is actually made up of a number of tubular or saclike glands that secrete fluids into the urethra through the ejaculatory ducts.
The prostate is divided into three histologically and anatomically separate glandular areas: The transition zone, the central zone, and the peripheral zone.
Transition Zone This surrounds the part of the urethra that passes through the prostate . This zone only represents about 5 percent of the gland, but is the primary origination of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate. That is, the transition zone is the region of the prostate that grows as men age.
Central Zone Making up quarter of the prostate, this area surrounds the transition zone, as well as the ejaculatory ducts that stretch from the seminal vesicles which produces the majority of the fluid of semen to the prostatic region of the urethra.
What Does My Prostate Do
It is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It’s supposed to be about the shape and size of a walnut.
The prostate helps make some of the fluid in semen, which carries sperm from your testicles when you ejaculate.
It Can Alleviate Painful Ejaculation
Painful ejaculation is rare, but it happens. It can come from infection or inflammation in the epididymis , prostate, seminal vesicles, and/or urethra. It can also signal a blockage in the ejaculatory duct. Massage can reduce prostate inflammation and make ejaculation less painful, says Mills.
Another cause of painful ejaculation can be tight pelvic floor muscles, which can occur when men have an inflammation or infection of the prostate. Again, Gonzalez says doing Kegels can help. Manual manipulation of those muscles during prostate massage can further alleviate ejaculatory pain. This is definitely something you would want a specialist to work on with you, he says.
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Function Of The Prostate Gland
As part of the male reproductive system, the prostate glands main job is to secrete a slightly alkaline fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid. This is the fluid that carries sperm. During a man’s orgasm, the muscular glands of the prostate help to propel the prostate fluid, and sperm that was made in the testicles, into the urethra. The semen then leaves the body out of the tip of the penis during ejaculation.
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Location Of The Prostate Gland
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut. The prostate gland surrounds the neck of a mans bladder and urethra the tube that carries urine from the bladder. It is partly muscular and partly glandular, with ducts opening into the prostatic portion of the urethra.
It is made up of three lobes: a center lobe with one lobe on each side.
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How Does The Prostate Play A Role In Male Fertility
The prostate gland is essential for reproduction and male fertility due to the prostatic fluid it produces.
The components of the prostatic fluid ensure that sperm is healthy and is able to fertilize eggs. Prominent components of prostatic fluid include:
- The enzyme prostate-specific antigen , which thins or loosens up semen so that sperm can travel more freely
- Prostatic acid phosphatase, an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of energy-rich compounds present in seminal fluid and may also increase sperms motility
- Citric acid, which may help maintain osmotic-electrolytic equilibrium in semen
- Zinc, which is important for semen coagulation
- Spermine, which is ultimately responsible for semens unique odor and may play a role in sperm motility and helping sperm fertilize eggs, according to an article published in Endocrine Reviews.
- Prostatic inhibin, or prostatic secretory protein, a protein that plays a role in regulating cell growth
Additionally, prostatic fluid is alkaline , and research published in July 2015 in the journal PLoS One suggested that the pH level of sperm can play a role in reproduction, helping maintain the viability of sperm and successful fertilization.
Infertility may develop if there are changes to the composition or secretion of the prostatic fluid.
Wednesday 4 October 2017
Hey guys, we know that talking about your prostate can be a little uncomfortable. You might not know where or what it is, or you might have only heard about it in stories about older men having difficulty peeing or the doctor sticking their finger up you know where to check on it.
Below, weve got all the details about what your prostate is, where it is and what it does. Well also discuss how it might change as you age, and any changes or symptoms you should keep an eye on and tell your doctor about.
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Prostatitis: A Common Prostate Problem In Younger Men
Prostatitis, or prostate inflammation, is the most common prostatic and urinary tract problem for men under age 50, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . It accounts for 2 million doctor visits in the United States each year.
There are several types of prostatitis.
Prostatitis caused by bacteria is known as bacterial prostatitis, and it can cause an acute or chronic infection.
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Clinical Relevance Prostatic Carcinoma
Prostatic carcinoma represents the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, especially in countries with high sociodemographic index. The malignant cells commonly originate from the peripheral zone, although carcinomas may arise from the central and transition zones too. It is still debatable that the latter tumors may present with lower malignant potential.
However the proximity of the peripheral zone to the neurovascular bundle that surrounds the prostate may facilitate spread along perineural and lymphatic pathways, thus increasing the metastatic potential of these tumors. Malignant cells may invade adjacent structures and/ or lymphatic and blood vessel routes to give distant metastases. Prostate carcinoma also commonly spreads via the Batson venous plexus to the vertebral bodies and cause skeletal metastases.
A DRE may reveal a hard, irregular prostate gland. In most cases the serum PSA values will be increased. However, due to the peripherally-advancing tumor, symptoms may be minimal, as obstruction occurs usually at late stages. One should also keep in mind that the high incidence of prostate carcinoma is found in elderly men, who may already have symptoms due to BPH.
Fig 4 Prostate cancer has the potential to invade nearby structures.
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Symptoms Of Urinary Problems
Urinary symptoms commonly experienced with prostate problems include:
- the need to urinate frequently during the night
- urinating more often during the day
- urinary urgency the urge to urinate can be so strong and sudden that you may not reach the toilet in time
- the urine stream is slow to start
- urine dribbling for some time after finishing urination
- a sensation that the bladder isnt fully emptied after urination
- lack of force to the urine flow, which makes directing the stream difficult
- the sensation of needing to go again soon after urinating.
Although these symptoms often do not need treatment, see your doctor if they are causing you difficulty, as they can be successfully treated.
Does Saw Palmetto Treat Enlarged Prostate
Study Shows Saw Palmetto Is No Better Than Placebo in Treating Symptoms of BPH
Sept. 27, 2011 â For years, men with enlarged prostate glands have turned to a supplement called saw palmetto to ease their trouble with urination and other symptoms.
Exactly how saw palmetto was thought to relieve the symptoms is unclear, but the fruit of saw palmetto dwarf palm tree remains widely used.
Now, a new study shows that this popular remedy is no more effective than a placebo or dummy pill at relieving these symptoms â even in high doses.
The study is published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The technical name for an enlarged prostate gland is benign prostatic hyperplasia .
Symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Not feeling empty after urination
As a result, men run the risk of developing urinary tract infections and/or needing surgery because of a blockage of urine flow.
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Questions You May Want To Consider Asking Your Doctor Include:
- What type of prostate problem do I have?
- Is more testing needed and what will it tell me?
- If I decide on watchful waiting, what changes in my symptoms should I look for and how often should I be tested?
- What type of treatment do you recommend for my prostate problem?
- For men like me, has this treatment worked?
- How soon would I need to start treatment and how long would it last?
- Do I need medicine and how long would I need to take it before seeing improvement in my symptoms?
- What are the side effects of the medicine?
- Are there other medicines that could interfere with this medication?
- If I need surgery, what are the benefits and risks?
- Would I have any side effects from surgery that could affect my quality of life?
- Are these side effects temporary or permanent?
- How long is recovery time after surgery?
- Will I be able to fully return to normal?
- How will this affect my sex life?
- How often should I visit the doctor to monitor my condition?
Is A Prostate Massage The Same Thing As Trying For A Prostate Orgasm
Yes. If you massage the prostate in a way that feels good, youre probably going to have an orgasm if you keep at it.
Some doctors recommend prostate massage therapy to help relieve the symptoms of certain conditions, such as painful ejaculation prostatitis.
Yep! Though evidence on the efficacy of prostate massage for certain conditions is somewhat limited, it does appear to have some benefits.
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Sex And The Prostate: Overcoming Erectile Dysfunction When You Have Prostate Disease
If you are concerned about erectile function, its important to understand what erectile dysfunction really is. Failing to have an erection one night after youve had several drinks or even for a week or more during a time of intense emotional stress is not erectile dysfunction. Nor is the inability to have another erection soon after an orgasm. Nearly every man occasionally has trouble getting an erection, and most partners understand that.
Erectile dysfunction is the inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse at least 25% of the time. The penis doesnt get hard enough, or it gets hard but softens too soon. The problem often develops gradually. One night it may take longer or require more stimulation to get an erection. On another occasion, the erection may not be as firm as usual, or it may end before orgasm. When such difficulties occur regularly, its time to talk to your doctor.
Erectile dysfunction can have many causes, including some forms of prostate disease and medications and surgery for prostate cancer. Fortunately, in many cases, this problem can often be effectively addressed. Some men find relief by taking medications to treat erectile dysfunction. If these arent effective for you, a number of other options, including injections and vacuum devices, are available. The possibility of finding the right solution is now greater than ever.
What Does The Prostate Gland Actually Do
The prostate gland isn’t essential for life, but it is vital for reproduction and is part of the male reproductive system.
The rest of semen is composed of sperm cells from the testicles, fluid from the seminal vesicles, and secretions from the pea-sized bulbourethral gland.
The prostatic fluid contains substances that are important to the functioning and survival of sperm cells, such as the enzyme prostate-specific antigen , which thins or loosens up semen, helping the tadpole-like sperm cells swim freely to reach the egg.
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Closing The Urethra During Ejaculation
During ejaculation, the prostate contracts and squirts prostatic fluid into the urethra. Here, it mixes with sperm cells and fluid from the seminal vesicles to create semen, which the body then expels.
When the prostate contracts during ejaculation, it closes off the opening between the bladder and urethra, pushing semen through at speed. This is why, in typical anatomic situations, it is impossible to urinate and ejaculate simultaneously.
Where Is The Prostate And What Does It Look Like
The prostate is situated between the bladder and penis, just in front of the rectum . It is above the muscles of the pelvic floor.
The urethra, a narrow tube that carries urine and semen out of the body through the penis, runs through the center of the prostate, which weighs less than 1 ounce .
The word “prostate” comes from the Greek word “prostates,” which means “one who stands before,” aptly describing the position of the gland. That is, when viewed from below, the prostate “stands before” the bladder.
Because the rectum is behind the prostate, it is possible to feel the prostate with a finger when inserted through the rectum. The prostate feels elastic because it’s surrounded by a supportive tissue called the stroma, which is made of flexible smooth muscle fibers and connective tissue .
The muscle cells contract during ejaculation, forcing fluid stored in the prostate into the urethra.
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Blood And Lymphatic Vessels
The prostate receives blood through the inferior vesical artery, internal pudendal artery, and middle rectal arteries. These vessels enter the prostate on its outer posterior surface where it meets the bladder, and travel forward to the apex of the prostate. Both the inferior vesical and the middle rectal arteries often arise together directly from the internal iliac arteries. On entering the bladder, the inferior vesical artery splits into a urethral branch, supplying the urethral prostate and a capsular branch, which travels around the capsule and has smaller branches which perforate into the prostate.
The veins of the prostate form a network the prostatic venous plexus, primarily around its front and outer surface. This network also receives blood from the deep dorsal vein of the penis, and is connected via branches to the vesical plexus and internal pudendal veins. Veins drain into the vesical and then internal iliac veins.
The lymphatic drainage of the prostate depends on the positioning of the area. Vessels surrounding the vas deferens, some of the vessels in the seminal vesicle, and a vessel from the posterior surface of the prostate drain into the external iliac lymph nodes. Some of the seminal vesicle vessels, prostatic vessels, and vessels from the anterior prostate drain into internal iliac lymph nodes. Vessels of the prostate itself also drain into the obturator and sacral lymph nodes.
Microscopic glands of the prostate
Does Sexual Activity Improve Prostate Health
Regular ejaculation enhances the immune systems response to the presence of cancer cells.
According to a report published in JAMA, men who reported having more than 20 ejaculations per month were 33% less likely to develop prostate cancer.
These measured ejaculations included sexual intercourse, nocturnal emissions, and masturbation. Researchers evaluated nearly 30,000 patients, of whom 1,449 developed prostate cancer.
Assuming the men answered the survey questions honestly, the results indicated that active sex life is not associated with higher cancer risk in most men.
An Australian study of 2,338 men also came to a similar conclusion. This study found that men who averaged 4.6 to seven ejaculations a week were 36% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 70 compared to men who ejaculated less than 2.3 times a week on average.
The study found no connection between prostate cancer and the number of sex partners.
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Personalized Care For Prostate Cancer
If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, you may not need to begin treatment right away. Most men have time to conduct research and get a second opinion before starting recommended treatment.
Our team of prostate cancer specialists, located in northeast Georgia, cares for patients throughout the southeastern United States and would be happy to discuss whats the best course of action for you.
How Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Treated
Treatment options for benign prostatic hyperplasia may include
- lifestyle changes
- minimally invasive procedures
A health care provider treats benign prostatic hyperplasia based on the severity of symptoms, how much the symptoms affect a mans daily life, and a mans preferences.
Men may not need treatment for a mildly enlarged prostate unless their symptoms are bothersome and affecting their quality of life. In these cases, instead of treatment, a urologist may recommend regular checkups. If benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms become bothersome or present a health risk, a urologist most often recommends treatment.
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