The prostate is a gland found in men that is part of the genitourinary system, a system which also includes the bladder, kidneys and testis. It is located in the pelvis, just below and behind the bladder, and just in front of the rectum. The prostate is located at the “neck” of the bladder, where it funnels down and becomes the urethra, which runs through the prostate. The prostate is a single gland, but it does have a right and left side, or lobes. The prostate tissue is surrounded by a thin rhine, or capsule.
The purpose of the prostate is to aid in making the seminal fluids, which during ejaculation are used to move the sperm out of the body. Two glands, called seminal vesicles, also contribute to the ejaculate. The seminal vesicles are also attached to the prostate from above, and lie behind the bladder.
As men get older, the prostate can enlarge. This is a benign occurrence, often called BPH, or benign prostatic hypertrophy. Since the urethra runs through the prostate, BPH can sometimes cause the prostate tissue to bulge into the urethra, causing some urinary symptoms such as a weak urine stream or nighttime frequency.
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