The prostate gland is an important part of the male reproductive system. The prostate is located below the bladder and above the penis. It surrounds the urethra, which is a thin pipe that acts as a passage for urine from the bladder to outside the body.
The prostate is known for secreting prostate fluid, an important part of semen. When a man ejaculates, sperms migrate from the testicles to an area along the prostate. The prostate pushes the prostate fluid into the urethra where it mixes with sperm and both leave the body as semen. About one-third of the semen excreted semen is made up of prostate fluid.
The male prostate begins to naturally expand after the age of 40. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
The prostate gland is walnut-sized and shaped. In the early development stages of prostate enlargement, the muscles of the bladder thicken and disturb the urinary flow. The urine will have to pass through a smaller diameter, therefore the urethra will have to contract significantly. This causes the bladder muscles to be more sensitive, resulting in the need to pass urine frequently.
As the number of hyperplasia cells increases, the size of the prostate increases. The increased growth in the prostate gland presses the urethra with more force. The problem gets too much for the bladder and it won’t be able to empty.
Sometimes, prostate enlargement may cause urine to back up, resulting in recurrent urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and possible kidney damage.
In some cases, it may lead to acute urinary retention – the incapacity to urinate. This is very painful and can be rectified by drainage.