The Mysterious Mr. Prostate
I find it strange and a bit troubling that so many men choose to be blissfully unaware when it involves any discussion about their prostate. And what about the many men who call it “My Prostrate?”
If you are not sure of the difference between a prostate and prostrate, this may be an excellent time to clarify the differences. The first refers to an important and often troublesome male gland. The second refers to being face-down or in a prone position.
Taking a lesson from women
The prostate gland is uniquely a male thing and that applies to all males, even the family pooch. Despite what some men believe, women do not have a prostate. The ladies, however, have many attractive attributes that males do not appear to possess.
Women tend to visit medical professionals more often. They routinely take better care of their health. They know what is going on with their bodies, and they typically outlive their male partners by 5 or more years. Perhaps men can learn something from the ladies in their lives.1
A complex system
In a mature male, the prostate gland is about the size of a walnut. Its job is to make and expel fluids during sexual stimulation. The actual gland produces the white-colored part of semen. The actual semen is made up of sperm, which is produced in the testicles and it teams up with the fluid from the prostate and other glands. The entire mix is released through the penis when a man experiences a sexual climax. It is an ingenious and complex system.
One reason men forget they have a prostate may be because the gland is hidden deep within the body, behind the pelvic bones, directly below the bladder and near the base of the penis. Only one side of the gland is close to the front of the rectal wall and near the anus. So, now you can begin to understand why Mr. Prostate is not a top-of-mind thing for some men.
Getting the prostate checked
During a routine examination of the prostate, the gland can be felt by a physician using a gloved and lubricated finger inserted into the rectum. Once located, the gland can be checked for lumps, bumps, and for an evaluation of size.
Beginning at around the age of 40, the prostate gland can begin a new growth pattern. As expansion continues, the process can restrict urine flow down the urethra – the tube that carries urine out of the body. This tube is attached to the bladder and surrounded by the expanding prostate gland.2
Understanding the role
Because the prostate is both a gland and muscle, it can contract to expel semen, and it can constrict to stop or control urine flow. Above the prostate and behind the bladder are additional glands called the seminal vesicles. They also produce a fluid that becomes part of the semen. Due to their proximity to the prostate, the seminal vesicles are typically removed along with the prostate during a radical prostatectomy.3
So there you have it. In just a few words, you have met Mr. Prostate. You know where he resides in the body and what role he and the seminal vesicles play when it comes to the production of sperm, and how he works to urine control flow.
Have you gone to a pelvic floor physical therapist?