What is the function of the prostate urethra

The prostate

The prostate, also known as the prostate gland, is one Sex glandfound in all male mammals. It produces part of the man's fertilization fluid and resembles a chestnut in shape and size. Prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia are among the most common diseases of the gland. The malignant tumor of the prostate is known as prostate tumor or prostate cancer and mostly affects older men.

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Structure and position of the prostate

Just like the testicles, the epididymis and the vas deferens, the prostate is one of the internal genital organs of the man. It is about four centimeters tall and weighs only about 20 grams in younger men, but over the decades it can grow significantly and thus reach a weight of more than 100 grams.

The organ is located between the urinary bladder and the pelvic floor and envelops the origin of the urethrathat directs the urine to the glans. The injection channel (ductus ejaculatorius), through which the seminal fluid flows during ejaculation, also runs through the gland. The rectum lies directly behind the prostate gland, and the posterior edge of the pubic bone is in front of it. The prostate is firmly connected to this.

The prostate is one of the so-called exocrine glands. This means that it does not release its secretion into the bloodstream, but to an inner surface of the body. The fine structure shows 30 to 50 individual glands that are responsible for secretion production.

Function of the prostate

The main task of the prostate gland is Secretion formation. It is a milky, cloudy, very thin and also slightly acidic liquid that is formed from the beginning of puberty under the influence of the sex hormone testosterone. The enzymes play a particularly important role in this prostate secretion. These include proteins such as prostate phosphatase, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and the substance spermine. The proteins protect the genetic information in the sperm, liquefy the sperm and also give the ejaculate its typical odor.

During sexual intercourse, nerve impulses from the sympathetic nervous system cause various muscles to contract involuntarily. As a result, the sperm and other secretions from the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles get into the injection tubules of the prostate. Here they are brought together with the prostate secretion. The prostate produces 20 to 30 percent of the total ejaculate. Thus the functionality of the organ is one important requirement for fertility and fertility in men.

But the prostate is not only used to produce secretions. Due to its location in the pelvis, it also supports the bladder neck and ensures a safe Closure of the urinary bladder. During urination, the bladder and prostate muscles seal the tubules that run through the prostate, preventing urine from entering the prostate gland. At the same time, the muscles of the prostate are also responsible for ensuring that no seminal fluid penetrates the bladder.

The most common diseases of the prostate

Inflammation of the prostate is called prostatitis in medical terminology. The disease leads to

  • Sensation of pressure in the area of ​​the perineum
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Problems urinating
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Pain when ejaculating

The inflammation can have a number of causes. This allows bacteria to get into the gland and trigger a defense reaction there. The most common bacterial pathogen causing prostatitis is Escherichia coli. In many cases, however, no cause can be found.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)

In benign prostatic hyperplasia, the prostate is enlarged. This disease predominantly affects older men, but the exact origin of the enlargement is not yet fully understood.

The enlarged prostate gland can narrow the urethra, weakening the urine stream and increasing urination at night (nocturia). Another characteristic symptom of benign prostate enlargement is an increased frequency of urinary evacuation with mostly very small amounts of urine. One speaks here of a pollakiuria.

The therapy of first choice for an enlarged prostate is usually the so-called transurethral resection of the prostate (TUR-P). During this prostate operation, the constricting prostate tissue is removed transurethrally, i.e. via the urethra. To do this, the operator inserts a long, thin instrument with an electric loop - the so-called resectoscope - into the urethra and removes the constricting prostate tissue using a high-frequency current.

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Prostate cancer (prostate cancer)

The prostate cancer is that most common cancer in men. Every year around 64,000 men develop the malignant tumor. Problems passing urine, an increased urge to urinate, difficulty having a bowel movement, and pain during ejaculation and blood in the seminal fluid are possible signs of cancer of the prostate. As with benign prostatic hyperplasia, it is predominantly older men who are affected by the disease. Patients are on average 71 years old when the diagnosis is made.

The therapy is mostly aimed at a radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate). This is done either as part of an open surgical prostate operation or by means of minimally invasive methods and as well as robot-assisted as part of a so-called DaVinci operation.

The DaVinci operation is based on minimally invasive "keyhole surgery", but is made easier by the use of a robot. The surgeon uses a state-of-the-art high-tech operating system - the so-called Da Vinci surgery system - and controls it from a console Robotic arms that act precisely to the millimeter with instruments that take over exactly the movements of the surgeon's fingers and hands without any tremors. During this prostate operation, the surgeon has the surgical field in front of his eyes in three dimensions, magnified up to ten times.