What Is The Prostate?
The prostate is a walnut sized gland located right below the bladder, surrounding the urethra.
It secretes between 50 and 75 percent of the ejaculatory load of human males, and is also what gives semen its pearly white appearance. The fluid secreted by the prostate is slightly acidic, although once it has joined with the other secretions found in semen the ejaculatory load as a whole is alkaline due to the other fluids. If it weren't for the overall alkaline makeup of semen, few sperm would survive the slightly acidic conditions of a woman's vagina. The first "fractions" of the load (first spurts or blasts) contain the sperm considered healthier due to being more motile, having longer lifespans and protecting the genetic material better.
The prostate also secrets prostate specific antigen (PSA), more specifically kallikrein-3, which serves to keep semen liquid (allowing the sperm to move freely) and is also thought to dissolve cervical mucus, allowing sperm entry to the uterus. PSA serves as an indicator for prostate cancer (which will be discussed more below).
The prostate gland secretes these fluids and chemicals by rhythmically contracting and pushing them into the prostatic urethra, where pressure builds up. Once a certain point is reached, a "valve" opens up and the contractions continue until the ducts and urethra have emptied their contents.
The prostate can be massaged to "force" prostatic fluid out of the body in a process colloquially known as "milking." In addition, it can be massaged just for additional pleasure during acts. While there is no direct route to physically apply pressure, a finger, toy, or penis can be used to apply pressure to the prostate through the perineum or more directly (although there is no direct contact) by rectal penetration. It should be noted than some men can experience very powerful orgasms from prostate massage alone, though not all can and many will never know due to fear of societal judgement.
Conditions Affecting The Prostate
Common conditions affecting the prostate include:
Prostatitis: Infection or inflammation of the prostate due to infection or other underlying conditions. Treatments include but are not limited to: antibiotics, alpha blockers, pain meds, and prostate massage.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): Enlargement of the prostate. There is not currently a cure for BPH, though there are many ways to help with symptoms: Transurethral Microwave Therapy, Transurethral Needle Ablation, and a very popular (and moderately effective) herbal treatment - Saw Palmetto.
Prostate Cancer: Obviously, it is cancer of the prostate. Treatments include: Surgery, Radiation therapy, Hormone therapy, Chemotherapy, and Biologic therapy. I will be writing an additional article specifically on prostate cancer to explain methods of detection and go more in depth into treatment options and different symptoms one may experience.
I hope to have taught you some things you may not have known before reading. I generally try to close my articles with some feel good tagline, and while I easily could, I believe the prostate should be taken very seriously (but also enjoyed. If you have any questions about parts of your anatomy, never be afraid to speak to a doctor, or even leave a message in the comments below. I am not a doctor, but if I can help someone learn more about a condition or something they would like to explore, I am always willing to help.
Remember: Sex isn't nasty, and there is nothing to be ashamed of in asking for more information about your health or ways to enjoy sex more.