The word prostate is derived from the Greek word, prostates, which means guardian or protector or the person that which stands before. There is a lot of difference between the prostates of different species. The differences are anatomical, chemical and physiological. The prostate gland secretes a fluid which is somewhat alkaline in nature. It looks white or milky. It makes up about twenty to thirty per cent of the semen volume along with other necessary constituents like the seminal vesicle-fluid and spermatozoa. The alkalinity is necessary to neutralize the environment in the vagina which is acidic. This results in prolonged life span of sperms.
The prostate gland has some very smooth muscles and these help in ejaculation. The secretion varies from species to species. The composition is alkaline fluids and sugar. The amount of protein is lower than one per cent in prostate secretions of humans. The secretions contain zinc too. For the proper working of this gland, male hormones are required.
The prostate gland of a fully grown, healthy man is a little bigger than the size of a walnut. The average weight of this gland is approximately 11 gms, the least being 7 gms and the highest being 16 gms. The urethra is surrounded by it and it is located right beneath the urinary bladder. It is an exocrine organ which is the only one of its kind because it is found right in the middle of the line dividing the body in two identical parts which are the mirror image of each other.
It is mainly pseudo stratified, which means that it is made of cells which are tall and columnar and also, basal cells which are given support by the fibro elastic stroma which has smooth bundles of muscles which are randomly oriented. Inside the prostate gland, the prostatic urethra merges with two ejaculatory ducts. It is not located inside any capsule. There is a fibro muscular band which surrounds it.
This is one of the most important glands in men because it is closely related to two essential bodily functions of intercourse and urination. Any abnormality in these functions can result in serious problems and one might end up in the hospital. Any disease of the prostate gland used to be quite severe. But, medical science and technology has improved by leaps and bounds, and treatment of this gland has become a very simple procedure.