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What is the prostate?


The prostate is a gland of the male urinary and reproductive system a little larger than a walnut. It is located between the bladder and the penis, behind the intestine, with the urethra running through it. 


 


What does the prostate do?


The main function of the prostate is to produce prostatic fluid, which is then secreted into the urethra. The prostatic fluid is part of semen along with seminal vesicle fluid and spermatozoa. Prostatic fluid contains the necessary elements to extend the lifespan of sperm. The muscles of the prostate help to create the force needed to expel semen during ejaculation.


The prostate is also responsible for controlling the urine stream via muscle contraction around the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder to the penis. It is therefore able to decrease or interrupt the urine stream.



What conditions can affect the prostate?


Men can be affected by several conditions of the prostate:




Prostatitis usually affects younger men, while other conditions are more common in adults and in the elderly.  


 


How can such conditions be treated?


Treatment will vary according to the specific condition:




 


Which doctor should I see?


You should see a specialised urologist.