With prostate, you either have it or you don’t. Believe it or not, most people don’t know what a prostate is, where it’s found and what it’s good for.
If you’re a man, you were born with a prostate and chances are good that you’re sitting on your prostate as you read this. Want to brag about your size? Depending on your age, your prostate may be the size of a walnut, a golf-ball or bigger. As general rule, the prostate grows with age, so your father likely has a larger prostate than you do, and your son’s prostate is smaller than yours.
The prostate is located in your pelvis behind your pubic bone and in front of your rectum. In fact, the prostate is located so close to the rectum that your doctor can feel the prostate by doing a digital rectal exam (DRE). These exams may be uncomfortable, but they are the only way that a doctor can quickly tell if your prostate feels normal. The exam usually takes a few seconds of minor discomfort, but it will tell the doctor if your prostate is enlarged, soft, hard, or irregular and suspicious for any disease, like cancer. During the exam, you may feel like you have to urinate, but you won’t. That’s because your bladder sits right on top of your prostate and the urethra (the passage that allows urine to exit the bladder) goes through the middle of your prostate. This is also the reason why an enlarged prostate can cause difficulty with urination. An enlarged prostate can squeeze off your urethra and make it difficult for urine to pass through. If you have concerns with urination, your prostate may be the culprit.
For such a troublesome gland, the role of the prostate is relatively small. It makes some of the fluid in semen and acts as natural lubricant for our male parts down below. Can men live without the prostate? They sure can! In fact, surgeries to remove the prostate gland are done frequently and are usually well tolerated. One of the major reasons to remove the prostate is for prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men. Almost 240,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year! So the next time you’re sitting on your prostate in the doctor’s office, consider talking to your doctor about getting a prostate check-up, the test is easy and it can save your life.