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The Anatomy and Disorders of the Prostate Gland

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Anatomy of the Prostate Gland

The prostate gland is an exocrine gland found in the abdomen of the male human body and is a part of the male reproductive system. A look at the urinary tract anatomy would give you the picture that the prostate gland is located right below the urinary bladder and not far from the rectum.

The prostate gland is a circular, walnut shaped gland, the structure of which is divided into median, anterior, posterior and a couple of lateral lobes. The urethra runs through the prostate gland in a male body and the seminal fluid is included in it at the prostatic ducts.

The Skene’s Gland in females is dubbed as the female Prostate Gland by the Federal International Committee on Anatomical Terminology. The Skene’s Gland is the female paraurethral glands and is also said to produce similar fluids.

However, this article is primarily about the male Prostate Gland.

Function of the Prostate Gland

The primary function of the prostate gland is to produce the fluid that makes up no less than a third of the seminal fluid, to ensure the alkalinity of the seminal fluid to neutralize the acidity found in the female vaginal tract and to push semen out during ejaculation through its soft muscles. This is why fluid from prostate gland is slightly alkaline in nature.

The Disorders of the Prostate Gland

The following are the most common disorders that affect prostate glands.

  • Prostatitis
  • Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
  • Prostate Cancer

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland which may or may not be a result of a bacterial infection.

Prostatitis is of the following four types.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Source by : wikimedia

  1. Acute Prostatitis

    This is caused by a bacterial infection and requires immediate treatment and is a painful condition. Antibiotics are administered for the treatment.


  2. Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis

    A bacterial infection which is a rare condition and occurs in the form of a urinary tract infection. Antibiotics are administered for the treatment.


  3. Chronic Prostatitis or Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

    This condition does not involve a bacterial infection and makes up around 90% of the Prostatitis cases. Physiological therapy, psychotherapy and medication such as antidepressants and benzodiazepines are used for the treatment.

    1. Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis

      Painless condition with no symptoms of Prostatitis and has no symptoms other than the occurrence of leukocytosis found during evaluation for some other condition.

    Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

    Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is a condition which involves the enlargement of the prostate, causing difficulty in urination. The condition is not uncommon among older men. Though largely harmless, the condition could cause frequent, painful or interrupted urination. In extreme cases, the urination may be almost blocked altogether. Lifestyle changes, medication such as alpha blockers, antimuscarinics and 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors finasteride is used for the treatment. Minimally invasive therapies including transurethral microwave thermotherapy and transurethral needle ablation are also frequently used for the treatment. In extreme cases, the prostate needs to be surgically removed altogether.

  4. Prostate Cancer

    The cancer of the prostate gland is a frequent cancer type among males, especially those in their old age and is a prominent cause of death. Prostate Cancer is treated using medication such as finasteride and dutasteride which prohibit the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Radiotherapy or surgical removal of the prostate gland may be necessary in more aggressive cancer cases.

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