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Prostate Encyclopedia

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Posted by on Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 3:04
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Basics About the Prostate

Often described as a walnut or chestnut-shaped organ, the prostate is a gland that surrounds the beginning of the urethra. The prostate produces a milky fluid that provides nutrient to the sperm and is discharged into the urethra at the time of semen emission.

An organ exclusive to men, the development of the prostate is spurred by male hormones (especially testosterone). The rate of prostate growth decreases and may stop around age 20. A second growth period often occurs around age 45, as cells in the middle of the prostate start to reproduce more rapidly than normal. This growth may result in BPH or enlarged prostate.



Prostate Gland — How it Works

Not all of the prostate’s functions are known. However, one of its main roles is to provide part of the fluid necessary for ejaculation. This milky-white fluid in semen provides nutrients to the sperm so that they can survive long enough to fertilize an ovum.

The prostate is not part of the urinary system, but because it surrounds the urethra and sits directly below the bladder, it can cause urinary problems. That’s why your primary doctor will often refer you to a urologist, a physician who specializes in the urinary system and male reproductive system, to see when you are experiencing prostate problems or prostate disease symptoms.



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