What is the prostate?
The prostate is a small, but important gland (organ) in the male reproductive system. Its main role is to make fluid that protects and feeds sperm. The prostate makes about one third of the fluid that is ejaculated (released) from the penis at the time of orgasm (sexual climax).
Where is the prostate?
The prostate is about the size of a walnut and is shaped like a doughnut. The prostate sits underneath the bladder, and surrounds the top part of the urinary tract. Urine passes through the urinary tract on its way from the bladder to the penis.
Does the prostate change with age?
The male hormone testosterone makes the prostate grow in size. As men grow older, the prostate grows. At puberty, testosterone levels in boys start to increase and the prostate grows to about eight times its size. It continues to grow, doubling in size between 21 and 50 years, and almost doubles again in size between 50 and 80 years. The reasons for this ongoing growth are not fully understood.
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