Prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate gland is quite common among men. Because of this condition, the term prostate gland is no longer foreign to us. But have you ever wondered what the prostate gland is? Or why we need it? Well, if this question’s been on your mind for long then its time to take action.
Anatomy of the prostate gland:
Located within the pelvis in the males, the prostate gland is roughly the size of a walnut. The urethra passes through this and this region is called the prostatic urethra. As for the exact location, it lies right in front of the rectum and below the bladder.
Does the next question is how the prostate gland is divided? Well, the basis of this division is bifurcated. For starters, it is divided into lobes based on the anatomy of the prostate gland. But this is not very useful in pathological conditions and so we have the “zone classification” as follows:
- Central zone – This region surrounds the ejaculatory ducts
- Transitional zone – Surrounds the proximal urethra and grows throughout the life of the individual
- Peripheral zone – Sub-capsular portion that surrounds the distal urethra
- Fibromuscular stroma – Not exactly a zone but consists of muscles and fibrous tissue
Finally, the gland is completely surrounded by the prostatic capsule. Now, this is not a capsule but a thin fibrous layer with the surrounding fibromuscular band intact.
Functions of the prostate gland:
- Production of semen – It makes up one-third of the semen along with the sperm cells, seminal fluid and other secretions.
- Protection of the sperm – The prostatic fluid is slightly acidic in nature. This combined with the other components of the semen makes the semen alkaline in nature. So, this helps to protect the sperm from getting damaged in the acidic condition in the vagina.
- Motility of the semen – The hormone-like substance of the prostatic fluid called spermine increases the motility of the sperm. This action is further enhanced by making the semen thinner and less viscous. This is again done with the aid of an enzyme found in the prostatic fluid.
- Role in ejaculation – This occurs by preventing the semen from entering the bladder
- Hormone metabolism – Conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).