What is the prostate gland and what functions does it perform?

Almost every man knows the prostate gland, what it is and what diseases can be associated with the prostate. Medical practice shows that the prostate is an important organ of the genitourinary system, which often fails in middle-aged and elderly men. Among men around the age of 50, half experience prostate problems, and as many as 90% of men aged 75 and over.

In general, the genitourinary system is one of the most important organ complexes in the male body, thanks to which harmful substances are removed from the body, and a man can also give birth. Any problems that arise in one of these systems, respectively, lead to complications in the other system. The prostate gland is a critical and fragile organ, its structure and functions determine a lot.

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What is the prostate gland

The prostate gland is an important organ that outwardly resembles two lobes of a trapezoidal shape resembling a chestnut. These lobes are connected to each other thanks to the isthmus between them. The gland itself is located directly under the bladder, and with its concave wider base touches it. Further, in the zone of the urethra, the prostate narrows and, as it were, encircles it with an isthmus.

In fact, the prostate gland and the prostate are one and the same, both names are suitable for this important organ. Both lobes of the prostate include glandular formations and muscle tissues in their structure, further from the prostate to the walls of the urethra, the mouths of the excretory ducts extend. In medicine, the prostate is considered a gland of both external and internal secretion due to its functional load.

Functions of the prostate

The prostate gland is considered one of the most important organs of the genitourinary system due to the large functional load of the organ. It performs several functions at once, which is why it is interconnected with many other organs and processes in this area of ​​the body.

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Doctors name several functions of the prostate, namely:

  1. Secretory — the gland produces a secret in the form of a mucous fraction, due to which the level of testosterone in the body is regulated, and this secret is also an important component of male sperm. Without this secret, sperm activity is impossible. And if the functionality of the prostate is disturbed, male fertility decreases accordingly, when the spermatozoa become not so mobile and capable of fertilization.
  2. Motor — Both lobes of the prostate are separated by a fibrin-muscular film membrane, which also helps the prostate to contract, resulting in the formation of a sphincter or a urine-retaining ring. In simple terms, a man thanks to the prostate can hold the process of urination.
  3. Barrier - the work of the gland also consists in the production and synthesis of substances, due to which infections that penetrate the urinary canal are neutralized in the body.

Thus, we can say that the prostate is a multifunctional gland of the genitourinary system, on which the hormonal background, sexual activity, the process of urination, fertility and the ability of a man to have children depend.

Major diseases of the prostate

The prostate gland is not only a critical organ for any man, but also a fragile organ in front of various inflammatory processes, diseases and pathologies. Doctors call some of the most common diseases of the prostate - adenoma and prostatitis, abscess and stones in the gland, tuberculosis or oncology. By the age of 50, half of the male population is faced with one or more of the ailments from this list.

prostate gland

Of all diseases, prostate adenoma is a natural pathology that occurs due to aging in older men. If we consider men aged 75 years and older, 90% of them suffer from prostate adenoma. In simple terms, an adenoma is a cyst or pathological growth of gland tissues.

The following factors can stimulate the growth of the gland:

  • genetics - the pathology is inherited, in addition, in these men it appears at the same age, has a similar picture of symptoms and of course;
  • endocrine disorders - due to aging in the body, the level of development of sex hormones decreases, respectively, this causes the growth of gland tissues;
  • excess weight - due to excess adipose tissue, blood flow in the pelvic area is disturbed, and testosterone levels also decrease, which negatively affects the prostate;
  • poor nutrition - excessively harmful food and a lack of useful components leading to an increased risk of developing inflammatory processes, including in the prostate area;
  • Lifestyle - insufficient mobility of a man can lead to prostate dysfunctions;
  • bad habits - alcohol-containing drinks, narcotic substances, smoking disrupt many processes in the body, being predisposing factors to the development of prostate adenoma.

Symptoms and Treatment

The complexity of the disease lies in the fact that prostate adenoma is quite difficult to diagnose in a timely manner, since it is asymptomatic for a long time. The first thing with which the clinical picture begins, the growth of gland nodules leads to pressure on the urinary canal, which affects the process of urination. Further, the symptoms are considered according to 3 stages of adenoma development:

  1. compensated - there is frequent urination, mainly at night, but difficult and weak.
  2. subcompensated — at this stage, the man will feel incomplete emptying of the bladder, there are still frequent urges to defecate, and urine comes out literally drop by drop. Thirst and dryness in the mouth may also be observed, which indicates problems with the functioning of the kidneys.
  3. decompensated — at this stage, the man suffers from the impossibility of emptying the bladder, which is why the bladder is stretched and loses sensitivity. A man cannot control the excretion of urine, the work of the kidneys is completely disrupted.

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Treatment involves several stages:

  • Medication - alpha-adrenergic blockers are used to reduce the tone of the muscles of the prostate and reduce its size. Thanks to such drugs, pressure on the bladder is also reduced, which helps a man to empty himself more easily. Also, in addition, alpha reductase inhibitors can be prescribed, which protect testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone, anti-inflammatory and anti-exudative drugs.
  • Physiotherapy - special exercises are used to normalize blood flow in the pelvic area and peritoneum. A method of heating the cyst thanks to electric current with a diet, taking vitamins and substances for the normal functioning of the urinary system, is possible.
  • Surgery — in extreme cases, with an exacerbation of the pathology and development up to stage 2-3, when conservative treatment turned out to be ineffective, surgery may be prescribed, for example, transurethral surgery or prostaectomy.

Important! Treatment of prostate adenoma is extremely important, since there are cases when tissue growth led to the development of oncology.

Prostatitis

Another common disease associated directly with the prostate gland is prostatitis. This is an inflammatory process, which can be triggered by infection or capillary stasis. The infection enters either through the urethral opening or through the man's anus. The disease is accompanied by extremely unpleasant symptoms.

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Causes of Prostatitis

To prevent prostatitis or choose the rules of treatment, a man needs to know the causes of its occurrence. There can actually be several reasons, namely:

  • hormonal disorders associated with those hormones that are responsible for erection and the process of ejaculation;
  • problems with blood circulation against the background of the inflammatory process, edema and constriction of blood vessels;
  • injuries of the bladder or perineum, which provoke stagnation of blood in the vessels;
  • abuse of alcoholic beverages, which leads to a decrease in the protective functions of the body and the development of inflammatory processes;
  • any diseases of the urination system, accompanied by a narrowing of the urethral opening and urination problems;
  • irregular sex life, which leads to stagnation of blood in the prostate gland;
  • a sedentary lifestyle of a man, which also causes stagnant processes in the pelvic area.

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Experts consider the best prophylactic against prostatitis — ejaculation, that is, a regular and full sexual life, since the process of ejaculation is the best natural massage of the prostate.

Symptoms and Treatment

The most famous urological disease today is prostatitis, respectively, medicine is constantly developing new ways to treat it. But for starters, it is important to recognize the inflammatory process by its characteristic symptoms, namely:

  • pain in the lower abdomen during urination;
  • regular pain in the perineum and scrotum;
  • premature ejaculation and shortening of sexual intercourse;
  • lack of spontaneous morning erection;
  • problems with urination.

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Treatment of prostatitis must be timely and comprehensive. For this, antibacterial agents are used to destroy the pathogen, anti-inflammatory drugs, therapeutic measures and adherence to a certain diet. Most often, fluoroquinolone drugs are used as antibiotics, and alpha-blockers will help ease urination. Hormonal agents are prescribed less often, physiotherapy and prostate massage are appropriate.

Prostate cancer

If we talk about serious diseases of the prostate, then this is primarily carcinoma or prostate cancer. A malignant tumor suggests that, most likely, the man was negligent about his health, not treating the pathologies preceding this in time. Among all cancers, carcinoma occupies 10%, threatening not only the functionality of the genitourinary system, but also the life of the patient.

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What is carcinoma

Carcinoma is a malignant tumor formation in the prostate gland, which can be triggered by various factors or several reasons at once. Doctors call the most common natural causes of prostate cancer, namely:

  • advanced age, which is accompanied by a lack of produced sex hormones and changes in the tissues of the gland;
  • genetics and hereditary predisposition to this type of oncology;
  • lifestyle of a man, for example, long-term abuse of alcohol, drugs and smoking, which leads to a mutagenic effect on the body;
  • poor and unhealthy food, especially if a man abuses red meat and fatty foods.

Symptoms of cancer begin with impaired urine output with interrupted processes and frequent urination, pain and burning. Further, there is pain in the anus on palpation, in extreme cases, a man can see blood in the semen, and complete impotence can be observed. The third and fourth stages of carcinoma are accompanied by bone pain in the pelvic area, anemia and swelling of the limbs, body, and paralysis.

Cancer treatment

Carcinoma is rarely detected at the initial stage, since oncology develops for years without pronounced symptoms. Treatment is based on several methods:

  • Targeted treatment or chemotherapy to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  • Targeted treatment with drugs to attack cancer cells with monoclinal antibodies.
  • Hormone therapy to slow the growth of cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy for X-ray irradiation of cancer cells or as an alternative to brachytherapy and ultrasound therapy.
  • Brachytherapy to treat cancer cells with a radioactive isotope of iodine.
  • Ultrasound therapy for the effect of ultrasound on the tumor.

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If we consider radical methods of treating carcinoma, this is surgery - prostaectomy, when the prostate is completely excised or transurethral resection, when the tumor is partially removed using a resiscope.

disease prevention

Preventive measures can reduce the risk of developing all of the above prostate diseases. This is a competent and responsible approach of a man to his sexual health and quality of life. The first thing to change for the better is the diet, getting rid of bad habits and excess weight. The second thing that is necessary for the normal functioning of the prostate is a mobile and active lifestyle.

Doctors recommend that all men have a regular and fulfilling sex life, avoid frequent changes of sexual partners and casual relationships. If a man is at risk, it is important to check with a urologist every six months, as well as to carry out preventive prostate massage. And to reduce the risks of developing diseases, you need to know the causes and factors that provoke them, and then eliminate them completely from your life.

The prostate gland is an important organ of the genitourinary system, responsible for several processes at once. Any deviations from the norm, pathologies and disorders will cause concomitant diseases, and will also be accompanied by a very unpleasant clinical picture. Therefore, it is important for men to monitor their health, timely seeking help from medical specialists.

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