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What Does the Prostate Do?

By    |   Monday, 25 April 2016 04:50 PM

Because it is an important part of the male reproductive system, it is helpful to understand what the prostate does.

As WebMD explains the anatomy, the prostate is a small, walnut-shaped gland that is located between a man’s penis and the bladder and sits just in front of the rectum. The urethra, or tube that carries urine and semen out of the body through the penis, runs through the middle of the prostate.

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The prostate gland’s main function is to produce and secrete a component of seminal fluid, or the fluid that carries sperm. During a male orgasm, the prostate gland helps to expel this fluid, says Johns Hopkins Medicine. It is mixed with sperm produced in the testes, and is expelled through the tip of the penis during ejaculation.

According to the textbook Life: The Science of Biology (eighth edition), cited by LiveScience, prostatic fluid is slightly acidic since it contains enzymes and some citric acid.

The other component of seminal fluid comes from the seminal vesicles, and the resulting seminal fluid is basic, or alkaline. This property of the fluid helps to protect the sperm as it travels into the acidic environment found in the vagina.

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The prostatic fluid also contains Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). This substance helps increase the success of sperm by keeping semen in a liquid state even after ejaculation so sperm can swim freely.

LiveScience goes on to explain that although the prostate is ideally located for its specialized job within the reproductive system, its location can also create challenges if the prostate becomes swollen and enlarged.

Enlarged prostate gland or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) affects more than half of all men in their 60s and this number jumps to 90 percent by the time a man reaches 70 or 80 years of age. These challenges usually include urinary symptoms such as a weak urine stream, frequent urination, and an inability to completely the bladder.

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Because it is an important part of the male reproductive system, it is helpful to understand what the prostate does.
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Monday, 25 April 2016 04:50 PM
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