The prostate is a mass of gland-like tissue that also includes muscle and fibrous tissue. It is located under the bladder and in front of the rectum in males. Although the prostate is not part of the urinary tract, it plays a major role in normal urine flow because the urethra, the tube that runs from the bladder and through the penis to allow urine to flow, runs through the prostate. The prostate performs many vital functions within the male reproductive system.
The prostate gland is responsible for secreting approximately 1/3 of the fluid in the semen a man ejaculates, according to PSA Rising. The fluid secreted by the prostate is added to the semen as the ejaculate travels through the portion of the urethra in the prostate.
The prostate fluid is an important part of the semen because it protects and nourishes the sperm. A woman’s reproductive environment is very acidic which is deadly to sperm. The fluid in the semen is alkaline, or basic, which protects the sperm from the acid. The fluid secreted by the prostate is rich in calcium, zinc, citric acid and albumin and gives the semen its milky appearance.
The prostate gland is responsible for helping to control the flow of fluids. Since both semen and urine travel through the urethra, each must be controlled so that they are not mixed together. During ejaculation, the sperm that have been waiting in the epididymis, a coiled tube that connects to the testes where the sperm are produced, travel through the portion of the urethra in the prostate. At that point the muscle of the prostate contracts and pinches the duct leading to the bladder. This action helps to keep the semen free from urine, as described in PSA Rising, and expels the ejaculate through the urethra.
The prostate is responsible for producing a protein known as PSA, or prostate specific antigen. This protein is important in many respects. Doctors can perform a PSA blood test to determine the level of protein in the blood. This is a prostate cancer early detection tool that is often used in conjunction with the DRE (digital rectal exam).
In addition, PSA plays an important role in reproduction. During sexual intercourse when a man ejaculates the semen travels through the vagina to the cervix. Once at the cervix a clotting enzyme secreted in the fluid from the seminal vesicles helps to ‘glue’ the semen in place. The PSA protein dissolves that clot allowing the sperm to break free and enter the cervix to make their way to the egg.
Massaging the prostate gland can enhance male sexual pleasure. The prostate is actually known as the man’s G–spot, according to the Online Self-Improvement Encyclopedia. Prostate stimulation through the rectum can release emotional and physical stress and provide an erotic experience. In fact, an orgasm obtained utilizing prostate stimulation can be up to 400 percent stronger than a typical orgasm, as reported by the Online Self-Improvement Encyclopedia.
About this Author
Stephanie Chandler is a freelance writer whose master’s degree in biomedical science and over 15 years’ experience in the scientific and pharmaceutical professions provide her with the knowledge to contribute to health topics. Chandler has been writing for corporations and small businesses since 1991. In addition to writing scientific papers and procedures, her articles are published on LIVESTRONG.com, eHow, Overstock.com and Helium.com.