February 6, 2019

How well do you know your prostate?

Men often mistakenly think that the prostate is required for penile erection. But that is not quite the case. Reading the following, you will learn more about… why men have a prostate!

What is the prostate?
It's a gland

Located under your bladder and in front of your rectum, the prostate is part of your reproductive and urinary systems. It is about the size of a walnut and weighs no more than 20 grams. It is composed of 2 main lobes that surround your urethra, the canal that connects the bladder to the penis and transports urine and sperm out of the body.

A healthy prostate has a soft, spongy texture to the touch like a small, ripe plum. Because the back of the gland touches the rectum, a doctor can assess its size and consistency by performing a digital rectal exam

During childhood, your prostate is tiny. The prostate of a young boy is tiny. During puberty, when your voice changes and body hair begins to develop, your prostate gland, penis, testicles and scrotum also begin to grow due to an increase in the levels of testosterone (a male sex hormone).

Illustration de l’appareil de l’homme pour un cancer prostate

Its main function
Your fertility

The prostate is considered one of the male reproductive organs because it secretes nutrients and liquid for sperm cells, ensuring their survival. The prostatic fluid is rich in enzymes, proteins and minerals that help protect and nourish your sperm cells. During sexual arousal, your prostate pushes the prostatic fluid into the canals into the urethra where it mixes with sperm cells and other fluids before being ejaculated as semen.

Your prostate secretes a particular protein called prostate specific antigen (PSA ), whose role is to liquefy semen - to facilitate the movement of your sperm cells - and keep it in liquid form after ejaculation.

What the prostate doesn’t do
Being responsible for your erections

There is a persistent myth that the prostate is required for penile erection. This explains why so many men who experience erectile dysfunction (ED) become worried that they may be suffering from prostate disease. It is true that the nerves required for normal erections are placed quite close to the prostate. However, the prostate itself is not involved in the mechanism of erection. If a man is experiencing ED, he should look elsewhere for the cause.

In short...

Put simply, the prostate contributes to male fertility by secret­ing substances that are essential to creating an environment in which sperm cells can survive. Without the prostate, "natural" fer­tilization is impossible.

Written by PROCURE. © All rights reserved - 2019

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