Understanding your prostate and its unique design and function within your body is the first step in protecting your health and avoiding long-term dysfunction. You may have a general idea, but knowing the details of how your prostate works and how to identify and address issues helps preserve your quality of life and can even be life-saving.
The following is a breakdown of the most important information related to your prostate gland.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate gland is a key component solely belonging to the male reproductive system. Although the gland is relatively small (walnut sized), the prostate has three primary functions.
- Produces seminal fluid- Seminal fluid nourishes semen for sperm ejaculation. It contains sugar fructose, proteins, citric acid, potassium and other nutrients used as the energy supply to transport sperm during sexual orgasm and ejaculation. Producing seminal fluid is the largest function of the prostate gland.
- Contributes toward hormone production- The prostate helps to produce the male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) from testosterone. DHT is responsible for prostate growth and overall sexual development in adolescent males. DHT also regulates hair growth and loss.
- Regulates the flow of urine- A properly functioning prostate aids in urinary function. The urethra travels through the prostate to carry urine from the bladder away from the body through the penis, while semen also travels through the prostate and urethra during ejaculation. The prostate ensures urine and sperm do not mix during ejaculation.
Where Prostate Glands are Located
The prostate is located in the lower region of a man’s belly, or pelvis just below the bladder. It sits above the base of the penis and rectum. Both urine and sperm travel through the prostate, meaning whenever there is a problem with your prostate, there is often an associated issue with sexual and urinary function.
Why You Might Develop Prostate Dysfunction
There are many contributing factors that might lead to prostate dysfunction.
Overproduction of DHT over time – Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) often results when there is a chronic exposure of DHT hormone levels, a form of testosterone, over a long period of time. As men age, the prostate grows larger in size in response to DHT exposure, among other factors. New prostate cell formation accumulating near the urethra makes it difficult for urine to properly pass through the prostate as before.
Enlarged Prostate Symptoms:
- Weak urine stream
- Dribbling of urine
- Difficulty urinating or long time urinating
- Urinating often
- Excess urination at night
- Bladder more prone to retain urine (causing infection or rupture)
Nearly 80% of men will experience BPH at some point in their lifetime. Most of them are men older than 65, but 50% of men in their 60’s or younger and 8% of men in their 40’s or younger have prostate issues from BPH.
Both chronic and acute inflammation is detrimental to a man’s prostate health. An overproduction of prostatic tissue may result from chronic stress or poor nutrition.
Prostate Fibrosis (PF) results when age and inflammation damage prostate function. PF leads to stiffening of the prostate tissue, reducing proper urinary flow and retention.
There is much more to cover on this topic. However, you now hopefully have a better understanding of the broad picture of what the prostate is, its location, how it functions and what causes dysfunction. Since prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men other than skin cancer, it’s worth doing your homework and actively checking on the health and progression of your prostate as you age.
Integrative Urology Provides TULSA-PRO Procedures in Phoenix
Patients at Integrative Urology receive a full individualized health analysis by Dr. Y. Mark Hong as he designs a diagnosis and treatment plan for the most effective outcome. By merging cutting-edge technology with proven effective treatment solutions, Dr. Hong provides patients with a clear and effective strategy based on his detailed holistic knowledge of the systems of the body and alleviating all types of urological ailments.
Dr. Y. Mark Hong is a world-renowned leader in innovative urology solutions. With tremendous patient care and compassion, Dr. Hong provides high-tech solutions that prevent patients from experiencing unnecessary negative side effects.
If you suffer from any issue related to men’s health, contact Integrative Urology office for a discreet and private appointment. A consultation and testing can put your mind at ease, whether you require specialized treatment or not.