Did you know the prostate is a small gland about the size of a walnut that sits under the bladder and in front of the rectum? The urethra is the narrow tube that runs the length of the penis and carries both urine and semen out of the body, and runs directly through the prostate. Sitting just above the prostate are two small glands called the seminal vesicles. These little glands secrete about 60% of the substances that make up semen. Directly behind the prostate is the large intestine. Running alongside and attached to the sides of the prostate are the nerves that control erectile function.
The prostate is not essential for life, but it is important for reproduction? Scientists have learned that it supplies substances that facilitate fertilization and sperm transit and survival. There are enzymes like PSA released that help loosen up semen to help sperm reach the egg during intercourse.
Other substances made by the seminal vesicles and prostate—such as zinc, citrate, and fructose—give sperm energy to make this journey. Substances like antibodies may protect the urinary tract and sperm from bacteria and other pathogens.
November is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, and I am participating in No Shave November. Are you? My scruffy look is to help others become aware of this small but significant gland. I will be writing small posts all month to update my venture into facial hair and to inform about men’s health.