Dr. David B. Samadi health blog

The busy life of the prostate gland

The prostate is responsible for producing the fluid that makes up semen, filtering sperm and maintaining an erection

The prostate gland performs many functions.
The prostate gland performs many functions.GETTY

You may be aware that prostate gland performs some functions but do you know everything this busy gland does? Although it is just a small gland – the size of a walnut – the prostate is responsible for keeping the male reproductive system on task.

The prostate prevents urine from mixing with sperm when a man ejaculates

Located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder surrounding the urethra, it completes various functions over the course of the day to keep the male reproductive system up and running. These include:

Prostate fluid production

The most important function of the prostate is to produce a fluid that, together with sperm cells from the testicles and fluids from other glands, makes up semen. Seminal fluid is designed to carry and nourish sperm.

The prostate gland’s contribution to this mixture is to provide an alkaline mixture of calcium, enzymes, and other components that make up about 30% of the seminal fluid. The alkaline fluid helps to neutralize the acidic vaginal environment which would otherwise kill sperm.

Expelling semen out of the body

Besides producing part of the seminal fluid for sperm to survive in, the muscles of the prostate are responsible for forcefully discharging sperm into the urethra and helping to expel sperm outwards during ejaculation.

The prostate gland provide an alkaline mixture that makes up about 30% of seminal fluid

The vigorous expulsion during ejaculation ensures that the sperm can travel far enough into a woman’s vagina to reach the Fallopian tubes and fertilize an egg.

Producing prostate specific antigen (PSA)

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by epithelial cells of the prostate gland. PSA helps semen to become fluid and carry sperm out of the body.

Maintaining erections

The nerves within the prostate play a part in causing and maintaining erections during sex. These nerves are responsible for eliciting extra blood to flow into the penis which helps it to swell and become firm.

Filtering sperm

The prostate acts as a filter to remove any potential toxic substances that could prevent sperm from doing its job.

Urine flow control

The prostate is in charge of controlling urine flow down the urethra and stopping urine from leaving the bladder until a man urinates. The prostate also prevents urine from mixing with sperm when a man ejaculates. If the prostate becomes enlarged, this will put pressure on the urethra which can result in urinary issues.

Protecting against urinary tract infections

Prostate secretions can help protect the urethra from urinary tract infections.

Intensifying a man’s orgasm

The prostate gland has been referred to as a man’s “G-spot” and if stimulated during sex can potentially intensify a man’s orgasm.

Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team Learn more at roboticoncology.com. Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at SamadiMD.com. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

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