Testosterone What It Does And Doesn’t Do
When you think of testosterone, what comes to mind? Macho men? Aggressive, impatient, type A behavior? Road rage? Violence?
Testosterone’s role in bad behavior is largely a myth. What’s more, testosterone plays other important roles in health and disease that may surprise you. For example, did you know that testosterone is a key player in ? Or, that women need testosterone, too? There’s more to testosterone than guys behaving badly.
Who Might Get An Enlarged Prostate
BPH is common and cannot be prevented. Age and a family history of BPH are two things that increase the chances you might get it. A few stats on that:
- Some 8 out of every 10 men eventually develop an enlarged prostate.
- About 90% of men over the age of 85 will have BPH.
- About 30% of men will find their symptoms bothersome.
Whats Involved In A Prostate Exam And When Is It Needed
Due to the location of the prostate , it is possible to feel the organ with a finger inserted into the rectum. The tissues of the stroma give the prostate an elastic feel to the touch.
Several prostate health issues may develop as a man ages, in particular prostatitis , enlarged prostate , and prostate cancer.
A prostate exam, also known as a digital rectal exam, is a common procedure to help diagnose these issues.
For the exam, a doctor will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum while you’re standing, bending forward at the waist, or lying on your side with knees pulled up .
The doctor will feel your prostate to determine its size and look for bumps, hard spots, or other abnormalities that may be indicative of prostate cancer.
The prostate exam is not typically painful unless there’s an abnormality within your prostate.
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Testosterone Prostate Cancer And Balding: Is There A Link
We have already established the link between BPH and DHT. In addition to this particular association, it is important to take note that there also seems to be a link between androgen hormones and conditions like balding and prostate cancer.
First, lets consider how levels of testosterone and DHT are linked to baldness.
Male pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, is one of the most common reasons that men lose hair as they get older.
Many people think that DHT is responsible for hair growth. There is some validity to this belief.
The hormone binds to follicles in some regions of the body in order to stimulate hair growth. This is why a boy going through puberty will suddenly start to grow hair in their pubic area, as well as on their chest and other regions of their bodies.
It is a completely different story when looking at how DHT affects the hair on a persons scalp. When DHT binds to the hair follicles that are located on the scalp, it can actually harm hair growth in the area.
Hair follicles act as small capsules, each containing a single strand of hair. The hair continues to grow during a cycle. Each of these cycles can last for up to five years.
Even when the hair strand is cut off, the same hair will grow back due to the action of the hair follicle.
When DHT binds to the hair follicles on the scalp, it can actually cause the follicle itself to shrink. This usually happens gradually over time.
Can Male Menopause Be Treated
If your testosterone levels are low, hormone replacement therapy may help relieve symptoms, such as the loss of interest in sex, depression and fatigue. However, replacing male hormones can make prostate cancer worse, and may make atherosclerosis worse, also.
You should receive a complete physical examination and laboratory tests should be performed before starting hormone replacement therapy. There are still many unanswered questions about how many middle-aged men could benefit from hormone replacement therapy. Talk to your healthcare provider about all the pros and cons of this treatment and what the best option is for you.
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Age Is A Factor With Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer usually affects men over 50 and approximately half of this age group also show signs of prostate enlargement. According to Cancer Research UK, the largest number of cases is in those aged 75 to 79.
One in 25 men will die from the disease and in the UK, around eight in 10 newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients now survive beyond ten years.
Prostatitis can affect men of any age.
Bigger But Not Better
Prostatic enlargement is pretty much inevitable. The urinary symptoms associated with it are treated with pills called alpha-blockers, which essentially enlarge the urethral channel by relaxing the muscle fibers within it. You can start with herbals like that of the woody shrub saw palmetto, pumpkin seeds , stinging nettle extract, pygeum, rye grass or beta-sitosterol extract and cruciferous vegetables but in randomized trials herbals take a distant second place to alpha blockers. Other drugs called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors actually shrink the gland by 1/3 of its size and can also help urination. If these pills don’t keep you peeing straight and strong, there are also various indescribable procedures that can remove the excess prostatic tissue. And yes, some of them involve lasers, which you just gotta love.The prostate can also become inflamed, termed prostatitis, which occurs in about 10% of men at least once during their lives. This diagnosis is not subtle as most men with prostatitis pee firewater several times an hour. Ways to avoid this include good hydration, regular, timed voiding and treating BPH when it occurs.
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How Does The Prostate Play A Role In Male Fertility
The prostate gland is essential for reproduction and male fertility due to the prostatic fluid it produces.
The components of the prostatic fluid ensure that sperm is healthy and is able to fertilize eggs. Prominent components of prostatic fluid include:
- The enzyme prostate-specific antigen , which thins or loosens up semen so that sperm can travel more freely
- Prostatic acid phosphatase, an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of energy-rich compounds present in seminal fluid and may also increase sperm’s motility
- Citric acid, which may help maintain osmotic-electrolytic equilibrium in semen
- Zinc, which is important for semen coagulation
- Spermine, which is ultimately responsible for semen’s unique odor and may play a role in sperm motility and helping sperm fertilize eggs, according to an article published in Endocrine Reviews.
- Prostatic inhibin, or prostatic secretory protein, a protein that plays a role in regulating cell growth
Additionally, prostatic fluid is alkaline , and research published in July 2015 in the journal PLoS One suggested that the pH level of sperm can play a role in reproduction, helping maintain the viability of sperm and successful fertilization.
Infertility may develop if there are changes to the composition or secretion of the prostatic fluid.
What Is The Actual Purpose Of Prostate In Female Body
Many experts believe that prostate in female body use to release some kind of fluid. This fluid appears thick, scanty and has whitish color while containing PSA. Note that, female ejaculation is actually not a part of orgasm and frequency of this has be estimated somewhere around 10 to 54 percent.
During few recent years, medical professionals have taken help from MRIs to detect the presence as well as functionality of female prostate. However, the research should be continued ahead to make ideas more clear but the basic understanding have obtained a boost with this initiative. You might be aware of the fact that prostate gland in males use to store infections inside body. Several studies around the world reveal that Skenes glands also serve the similar kind of function.
Now, it is already clear that skenes glands use to release some fluid during sexual activity and it use to be of watery in appearance. As per one detailed study published in 2007, this fluid that is excreted into the tract from Skene s Duct use to be consistent with the prostate fluid but it is not observed to have consistency with urine.
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Treatment For Urinary Problems
If your urinary problems are caused by infection or enlargement of the prostate gland, treatment may include:
- a long course of antibacterial medication because infection is difficult to get rid of, the antibacterial medication will need to be taken for many weeks
- medication to improve urine flow and other symptoms
- surgical procedures the type of surgery required depends on the size of the prostate and the condition of the urethra. Types of procedures include:
- transurethral resection of the prostate
- transurethral incision of the prostate
- laser resection of the prostate
- open surgery prostatectomy
- removal of prostate tissue using water jets or steam
What Are Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer
In an effort to catch prostate cancer early, it is important for you to know the warning signs that there could be something affecting your prostate. Lets take a look at what you can look out for and when it is time to see a urologist for any of these concerns.
- Noticeable pain or burning during urination or ejaculation
- An increase in urine frequency, especially at night
- Change in difficulty starting or stopping urination
- Sudden onset of erectile dysfunction
- Noticeable blood in urine or semen
If you have or do notice any of these signs, you should seek medical attention from a Urologist immediately. While any one of these signs dont automatically point to prostate cancer, they are the best warnings our body can give us of something being wrong.Additional signs of prostate cancer can develop and include:
- Unusually weak urine flow
- Pain around the prostate when sitting
- Swelling or pain in lower back or hips
- Any abnormal urinary or bowel movement
- Sudden unexplained weight loss
While a healthy prostate may easily go unnoticed, it is important for men to be aware of warning signs their body may be giving them. Prostate cancer can be common and treatable when caught early. If you have experienced any of these warning signs contact our team of urologists at Urology Specialist of Ohio for further screening and next steps.
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Clinical Relevance Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the increase in size of the prostate, without the presence of malignancy. It is much more common with advancing age, although initial histological evidence of hyperplasia may be evident from much earlier ages .
The enlarged prostate may compress the urethra, resulting in symptoms that refer to impaired storage of urine and symptoms that refer to impaired voiding .
BPH is usually caused by hyperplasia of the glands from the transitional zone of the prostate.
Blood And Lymphatic Vessels
The prostate receives blood through the inferior vesical artery, internal pudendal artery, and middle rectal arteries. These vessels enter the prostate on its outer posterior surface where it meets the bladder, and travel forward to the apex of the prostate. Both the inferior vesical and the middle rectal arteries often arise together directly from the internal iliac arteries. On entering the bladder, the inferior vesical artery splits into a urethral branch, supplying the urethral prostate and a capsular branch, which travels around the capsule and has smaller branches which perforate into the prostate.
The veins of the prostate form a network the prostatic venous plexus, primarily around its front and outer surface. This network also receives blood from the deep dorsal vein of the penis, and is connected via branches to the vesical plexus and internal pudendal veins. Veins drain into the vesical and then internal iliac veins.
The lymphatic drainage of the prostate depends on the positioning of the area. Vessels surrounding the vas deferens, some of the vessels in the seminal vesicle, and a vessel from the posterior surface of the prostate drain into the external iliac lymph nodes. Some of the seminal vesicle vessels, prostatic vessels, and vessels from the anterior prostate drain into internal iliac lymph nodes. Vessels of the prostate itself also drain into the obturator and sacral lymph nodes.
Microscopic glands of the prostate
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Clinical Relevance Prostatic Carcinoma
Prostatic carcinoma represents the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, especially in countries with high sociodemographic index. The malignant cells commonly originate from the peripheral zone, although carcinomas may arise from the central and transition zones too. It is still debatable that the latter tumors may present with lower malignant potential.
However the proximity of the peripheral zone to the neurovascular bundle that surrounds the prostate may facilitate spread along perineural and lymphatic pathways, thus increasing the metastatic potential of these tumors. Malignant cells may invade adjacent structures and/ or lymphatic and blood vessel routes to give distant metastases. Prostate carcinoma also commonly spreads via the Batson venous plexus to the vertebral bodies and cause skeletal metastases.
A DRE may reveal a hard, irregular prostate gland. In most cases the serum PSA values will be increased. However, due to the peripherally-advancing tumor, symptoms may be minimal, as obstruction occurs usually at late stages. One should also keep in mind that the high incidence of prostate carcinoma is found in elderly men, who may already have symptoms due to BPH.
Fig 4 Prostate cancer has the potential to invade nearby structures.
What Is Your Prostate And What Does It Do
Your prostate is a small gland that lives inside your body, just below your bladder. It sits around the urethra, which is the tube that carries pee from your bladder through your penis. Only men have a prostate.
Your prostate produces some of the fluids contained in your semen, the liquid that transports sperm. This liquid contains special enzymes and hormones that help your sperm cells function properly, which means the prostate plays a key part in your fertility. The muscles in your prostate also help push semen through your urethra when you ejaculate.
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How To Locate Your Prostate
This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 194,296 times.
The prostate is a walnut-sized organ in males that plays a major role in the production of semen. The easiest way to access the prostate is by way of an index finger carefully inserted into the rectum. The processes for accessing the prostate as part of a medical exam or for sexual pleasure are the same, and the same precautions should be taken. You should also keep an eye out for signs of potential prostate problems and contact your doctor as needed.
Prostate Cancer Is Genetic
Look at your family tree. Has your father, grandfather, uncle or brother had prostate cancer? If this is the case, then you may have a higher risk of developing the disease.
Tell your doctor if any family members have had the disease, they can discuss what symptoms you need to look out for and whether you need to have any blood tests to monitor your PSA.
Hydration Could Be Linked To Prostate Health
Japanese and Chinese men have very low levels of prostate cancer and green tea is thought to be one reason why. Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties which could potentially reduce cancer risk.
Alcohol and fizzy drinks are rich in sugar, which can pile on the pounds. We know obesity is linked to cancer so switch to water instead to reduce calories, help flush out the kidneys and keep the body hydrated.
Functions The Prostate Gland Performs
The prostate is something that every man knows about, but few realize the various functions this walnut-sized gland is responsible for in the male reproductive system. Weve put together a list of 10 amazing functions the prostate gland performs based on information from bewellbuzz.com.
It helps produce semen.
The main function of the prostate is to help produce semen. It makes an alkaline fluid which mixes with sperm during ejaculation to create semen. The alkaline fluid helps to protect the sperm once it reaches a womans vagina as this is an acidic environment.
It produces prostate-specific antigen .
The prostate produces a fluid called prostate-specific antigen which also helps the sperm by acting like a glue to attach it to a womans cervix. The glue then dissolves and the sperm is free to swim into the uterus to find an egg.
The high levels of PSA in a man can also be an indication of prostate cancer. Men over a certain age should have their PSA levels checked on a yearly basis. This is done through a simple blood test.
It pumps sperm.
As well as helping to make semen, the prostate gland helps to pump out sperm during intercourse. The pumping action ensures that the sperm can travel far enough into the uterus to possibly find an egg. This experience helps make sex pleasurable for men.
Its the G-spot.
It acts as a filter.
It creates erections.
It controls urine flow.
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