Function of the prostate


Prostate function

English: function of the prostate


The main purpose of our prostate is to produce (synthesis) a thin, milky and slightly acidic (pH 6.4 - 6.8) liquid, the prostate secretion.
In the adult man, it even makes up around 60-70 percent by volume of the entire ejaculate (ejaculation)!

Significant amounts of it are only produced after puberty, at the same time strong growth takes place in the gland.
Both processes are responsible for the hormone metabolism of the maturing man, especially an increase in the "testosterone" level in the blood. The fluid of the prostate contains a variety of chemical compounds, in particular numerous representatives from the protein family, which in nature make the incredible diversity of organisms possible.

Here are the most important:
Sperm"Is intended for the chemical stability of the genome (DNA), which is in the heads of the spermatozoa. The sole biological task of the entire reproductive system with all organs and duct systems is the proper transmission of the genetic material to a female egg cell. In this respect, the protective substance spermine has an almost sovereign function for the body!

The "acid prostate phosphatase“ (PAP) belongs to a subclass of proteins (the enzymes) and represents a substance with a regulatory effect. Its role in the life processes of healthy people (physiology) is more of a subordinate function and largely unclear. It is known, however, that a PAP increase in the blood is not good for you health Your prostate promises.

Another protein that prostate-specific antigen (PPE), reduces the viscosity (viscosity) of Sperm. Without substances like PSA, a thicker sperm would result, which would be more difficult to expel and the probability that female Fallopian tubes (Tuba uterina, salpinx) to achieve would belittle.

As with PAP, an increase in PSA in the blood indicates a pathological process in the prostate down. Many health organizations recommend every man aged 45 and over to his PSA blood levels to know to prevent serious illnesses! With a "total PSA" (c-PSA) of less than 4 ng / ml, you are on the safer side, increases can (do not have to) indicate diseases.
How it is in nature, however, can also be seen Prostate cancer get sick without a high PSA level, but this is unlikely.

In addition to this function, the prostate gland is involved in the metabolism of the hormone "testosterone". It converts it into a more active form, the "dihydrotestosterone" (DHT). This conversion (reduction) takes place through the enzyme “5-alpha reductase”, which occurs only in the prostate.
DHT is closely related to abnormal growth of the prostate gland (see below). Many drugs therefore try to reduce the activity of this enzyme, they are "5-alpha reductase inhibitors" such as "Dutasteride", "Epristeride" and "Finasteride".

Eventually the muscles get the prostate maintain a certain order in their environment. In it, two paths that initially run independently cross each other, on the one hand the urinary tract and on the other hand the seminal tract.
Urine does not belong in the prostate or in the tubules, sperm has nothing in the bladder to search! The problem with this story is that both liquids (Urine and semen) don't know what's good for them. They just behave like any other fluid on our planet that is forced into a system of tubes and follow the prevailing pressure gradient (pressure gradient). Their course is always directed from the location of the higher pressure to the location of the lower pressure.
When urinating (urinating, during micturition) the muscles of the bladder Apply pressure and force the urine into the urethra. If the muscles of the prostate were not to block all other ways, urine could leave its intended path.
On the other hand, the prostate muscles help to close the path to the urinary bladder when the man ejaculates. So it behaves like a traffic light at the intersection of the male fluid roads!

Figure of the prostate gland: Male reproductive organs overview from the side (A), urinary bladder with the prostate gland from the front (B) and schematic drawing of the four zones of the prostate gland (C)

Prostate = prostate gland

  1. Prostate gland - prostate
  2. Peritoneal cavity -
    Cavitas peritonealis
  3. Ureter - Ureter
  4. Urinary bladder - Vesica urinaria
  5. Male urethra -
    Urethra masculina
  6. Male member - penis
  7. Testicles - Testis
  8. Rectum - Rectum
  9. Vesicle gland
    (Seminal vesicle) -
    Glandula vesiculosa
  10. Urine (urine) - Urina
  11. Bladder neck
    (internal sphincter)
  12. Glandular tissue of the prostate
  13. pelvic floor
    (external sphincter)
  14. Anterior zone
  15. Inner zone
    (Transitional zone)
  16. Central zone
  17. Outside zone -
    peripheral zone
  18. Spray channel -
    Ejaculatory duct

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

How can you stimulate the function of the prostate?

The function of the prostate is mainly controlled by the hormone testosterone regulated. A changed release of the male sex hormone therefore also has a direct effect on the function of the prostate. An inadequate release of testosterone usually occurs when the body is supplied with important nutrients undersupplied is. The Minerals zinc and magnesium can increase testosterone production. This is true, however only if there was previously a deficiency in these substances. Same goes for that Vitamin D, which is often touted as a "testosterone booster". In fact, vitamin D appears to inhibit the breakdown of testosterone, which can lead to higher hormone levels. Weight training, especially with heavy weights increases testosterone production. Get enough sleep is also important. Nevertheless, it should be noted: A healthy young man with a balanced diet and free from deficiencies normally produces enough testosterone for a healthy prostate function. A hormone deficiency can be diagnosed by a doctor and treated. However, elevated testosterone levels also seem to play a role Prostate cancer to play a dangerous role. In addition, elevated testosterone levels can stimulate the prostate to overgrow. The current study situation is not clear here.

How can one increase / improve the function of the prostate?

For the healthy functioning of the prostate is a sufficiently high levels of the male sex hormone testosterone are necessary. A deficiency can be identified and treated by a doctor.
One thing is important balanced diet and enough sleep. The prostate needs amino acids for the production of the secreted substances. However, since this amount is very small, one is enough normal diet the amount of amino acids absorbed easily for normal prostate function.
Ejaculating regularly is important for a healthy prostate. This is especially true for prostate cancer screening. In studies, men who ejaculated regularly had one lower risk of certain prostate cancers to get sick. Normal weight and sufficient exercise have a positive effect on overall health and thus also on the prostate.
Regular prostate checkups by a doctor are also important for prostate health. From the age of 45 Regular prostate examinations are recommended. This includes the determination of certain blood values, such as the PSA typical for the prostate, but also a manual one Examination of the prostatepalpating the prostate.
With various cures or remedies that promise an improvement in prostate function, could often no effect scientifically proven on the prostate.

Functions of the prostate

The prostate, which, together with the seminal vesicles and the so-called Cowper's glands, occurs exclusively in men, makes up about 30% of the ejaculate. The fluid in the prostate is thin and milky white. In addition, the secretion is slightly acidic and has a pH value of around 6.4. Since the normal flora of the vaginal canal is very acidic to protect it from infection, the slightly acidic prostate secretion causes an increase in the pH value when ejaculating into the canal, which increases the chances of sperm survival. In addition, the prostate contains enzymes (e.g. acid phosphatase) which make the ejaculate more fluid so that the sperm can move around better. In addition, the products of the prostate include substances that both stimulate the sperm to move and protect it.

There is also another function of the prostate that is often neglected. Due to its location directly below the bladder and its enclosure around the urethra, the prostate contributes to continence in men. At the same time, the position of the prostate and its partially muscular function prevents the sperm fluid from being pressed into the urinary bladder during orgasm.

It can therefore be said that the prostate and its tasks play an important role in the natural fertility of men. The prostate also affects the hormonal balance by converting the male sex hormone testosterone into its most potent form, dihydrotestosterone.

Prostate size

In young healthy men, the prostate is about the size of a walnut and chestnut-shaped, has a volume of approx. 20-25 ml and a weight of approx. 15-20 g. However, it is important to note the benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which affects almost every man.
From the age of about 30-40 years, the prostate begins to grow due to reasons that are not fully understood. The cells of the glands and the connective tissue parts of the muscles multiply.

Read more about this under: Prostate enlargement

Blood counts of the prostate

Apart from physical examination methods, ultrasound and urine flow measurements, one can also determine the so-called PSA value (prostate specific antigen value) in the blood. This is currently used as an early parameter in the detection of prostate cancer. It is important to mention here, however, that manipulation, inflammation of the prostate, the already mentioned BPH and other benign prostate findings can also increase this value. It should therefore not be viewed in isolation, but should also be viewed in combination with other factors such as the age of the patient, the time course and other clinical findings.

Read more about this under: PSA value

Diseases of the prostate

Inflammation of the prostate

Prostatitis is a technical term that describes inflammation of the prostate. This can occur both acutely and chronically. Acute prostatitis is primarily caused by ascending bacterial infections of the urinary tract, which involve the prostate. Symptoms can include pain in the perineal area and during bowel movements, fever, and chills. If necessary, you may experience discomfort and pain when urinating. The dangerous thing is that it can lead to sepsis (popular expression: blood poisoning) or an abscess of the prostate. Read more under: Painful urination in men and Painful bowel movements

Chronic prostatitis can be bacterial prostatitis that lasts longer than three months, but it can also occur without evidence of germs. This means that no bacteria can be found causing inflammation in the prostate. This is also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CPPS). The symptoms of chronic prostatitis are similar to those of acute ones.

Risk factors for prostatitis include voiding disorders and irritation of the prostate, e.g. through interventions. Urine examinations, blood cultures and smears are carried out diagnostically in prostatitis in order to enable a germ detection. The already mentioned PSA and inflammation values ​​can be indicative as laboratory parameters. Ultrasound or even a sample can be used.
Once the diagnosis has been made, the symptomatic approach is primarily used and the infection is combated with antibiotics. In the chronic variant without evidence of germs, a multi-layered therapy may have to be used, which includes medication to facilitate micturition, pain relievers and antidepressants.

Read more about this under: Inflammation of the prostate

Prostate adenoma

The already mentioned benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), formerly also known as prostate adenoma, is a benign enlargement of the prostate gland that occurs with age. Older men are affected, whereby the increase in size of the prostate due to cell proliferation in the glandular and connective tissue parts of the muscle begins from around 30-40 years of age. From the age of 50, around 50% of men are affected, and from the age of 80 even over 90%. From a size of approx. 30 ml one speaks of an enlarged prostate.

Symptoms of BPH do not necessarily occur. However, they are primarily characterized by micturition problems. This can lead to frequent urination in small amounts (Pollakiuria). Nocturnal urination without drinking changes is called Nocturia designated. In addition, the urine stream is weakened by the enlarged prostate. You may also experience compulsive urination and urge incontinence. It is important that urinary retention can also lead to ascending urinary tract infections, bladder stone formation and even kidney damage. In these cases therapy is very important.

Ultrasound is particularly decisive for the diagnosis of prostate adenoma. This allows the prostate to be assessed in terms of shape, size and volume. If something is suspicious, a biopsy may have to be performed. The benignity can only be definitely determined histologically.

Medicines can first be used therapeutically. Mechanisms of action are an increase in bladder contractility, relaxation of the bladder sphincter or an inhibition of prostate growth by enzyme inhibitors. If drug therapy does not lead to the desired success, surgical therapy may have to be considered. This can be done openly through a skin incision or transurethrally. Transurethral means that access is via the urethra and through this the prostate is scraped from the inside either mechanically or by laser.

It is important to note that there is no increased likelihood of developing prostate cancer. BPH occurs primarily in the transition zone of the prostate, while prostate cancer develops in the peripheral zone of the prostate.

Read more about this under: Prostate enlargement