The prostate is one of the male sex glands since it is part of the masculine reproductive apparatus together with the testicles, scrotum, penis, seminal vesicles, and ducts that serve to feed, protect, and transport the semen.
In an adult, the prostate is similar to a nut in shape and size and totally surrounds the urethra at the point where it leaves the bladder. The urethra is what carries the urine and semen through the penis to the exterior.
The main function of the prostate is to produce prostatic liquid during ejaculation. This liquid nourishes and protects the sperm during intercourse and is the main component of the semen.
The prostate is made up of approximately 40 clusters of small glands that produce prostatic liquid that is carried to the prostatic urethra.
The prostrate has 3 main areas encapsulated within a fibrous capsule: the peripheral area or external gland that is made up of approximately 65% glandular tissue, the central area or internal gland that is made up of 25% glandular tissue and the transition zone that surrounds the prostatic urethra is made up of 10% glandular tissue. Prostate cancer usually develops in the glandular zone. As a result, the area that is the most affected is the external gland or peripheral area that contains the most glandular tissue.
The size of the prostate in an adult is kept in balance by the death of old cells and their replacement with new cells. This balance is primarily regulated by the androgynous hormones, especially testosterone.
To maintain this balance, the system known as the hypothalamus-hypophysis-testicle axis must function correctly. This means that the hypothalamus produces hormones that act on the hypophysis which, in turn, regulates the production of testosterone. At the same time, the hypothalamus also acts on the pituitary gland, which is physically linked to it. Then, the pituitary gland also acts on the testicles and the adrenal glands thus stimulating the production of testosterone.
The testicles contain small ducts known as seminiferous ducts which produce sperm when stimulated by the FSH (follicle stimulant) hormone. The Leydig cells that produce testosterone from cholesterol due to the stimulation of the LH (luteinizing) hormone are located between the seminiferous tubes.
Testosterone is the most important masculine sex hormone and the development and maturation of the masculine sex organs including the prostate depend on it.
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