The prostate is a gland found only in men. Dr. Jerman, what can you tell us about the prostate?
Well, Dr. Reynolds, the prostate is located in front of the rectum and underneath the urinary bladder, and is about the size of a walnut. It surrounds the urethra at the neck of the bladder. The urethra is the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body.
The prostate secretes fluid that protects and nourishes sperm cells. During ejaculation, the prostate squeezes this fluid into the urethra, and it's expelled with sperm as semen. Behind the prostate gland are the seminal vesicles, which also contribute fluid to semen.
Male hormones, called androgens, are responsible for the development of the prostate in a male fetus. Testosterone is the most common androgen. The prostate continues to grow until a man reaches adulthood. Many men experience continued growth of the prostate throughout life, which is a normal part of the aging process.