Mention the word “prostate” to a man or to a woman for that matter and the almost universal reaction is negative. Most people hear that word and immediately think “trouble”; often really serious trouble.
It’s well known that prostate enlargement is often associated with the familiar symptoms of a gradually slowing stream, day and nighttime frequency, urgency, intermittency, and a sensation of incomplete emptying requiring some pushing. Any combination of these symptoms can make a man’s life miserable when the prostate is simply enlarged but free of cancer. When cancer develops in the prostate, a whole new set of problems emerge.
Finally, there are additional painful afflictions of the prostate related to infections and stones. So there are many good reasons why the initial universal reaction to the word “prostate” is negative.
Many men think, “If my prostate can cause me so much trouble; why do I need it, what is its function and what good does it do for me?” The answer is that the prostate, together with the seminal vesicles, supplies the great bulk of the volume of the semen ejaculated at the time of orgasm.
The volume of sperm in the semen is very small, amounting to less then one percent of the total volume of the ejaculate. Without that liquid ejaculate, the sperm could never reach the egg and start the process of fertilization. Semen is the river in which the sperm swim and are carried to their ultimate destination. Without prostatic fluid, there could be no fertilization, no pregnancy and no continuation of human life.
The prostatic fluid also contains substances essential to the proper nutrition and protection of the sperm.
These substances include fructose, a sugar, found in fruit, which supplies energy to the active sperm. The prostatic fluid is also rich in zinc, citric acid, prostaglandins and many other enzymes, whose complete function is not thoroughly understood.
A woman’s vagina contains lactobacillus, a bacterium, which keeps the vagina acid.
Acid is hostile to sperm but the semen contains chemicals to keep it alkaline preventing the destruction of the sperm.
Sperm are formed in the testicles and within three months, make their way from the testes down the vas to join with the duct coming from the seminal vesicle to form the ejaculatory duct.
These ducts penetrate through the prostate on each side ending in a little cavity within a mound of tissue inside the prostate from which point, the seminal vesicle fluid containing the sperm are mixed with prostate gland fluid and ejaculated.
It is interesting that the piece of tissue, destined in the male human embryo to become that little cavity within the mound of tissue in the prostate, containing the openings of the ejaculatory ducts, is the same exact piece of embryonic tissue that in the female is destined to become the uterus.
Have a Question? Call Dr. Okun at 718-241-6767