Men's health

Know your prostate

In the realm of men’s health, the prostate plays a significant role in the male reproductive system and in a man’s overall well-being.

In this guide, we will delve into the vital functions of the prostate, common health concerns, and the latest advancements in diagnosis and treatment.

What does the prostate do?

The prostate is a small gland found in men, located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It plays a crucial role in the male reproductive system and is involved in the production of semen, the fluid that carries sperm.

Here are some key functions of the prostate:


  1. Semen Production: The prostate gland produces a milky fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. This fluid, along with sperm from the testicles, makes up semen.
  2. Muscular Function: The muscles of the prostate gland help to propel semen into the urethra during ejaculation.
  3. Hormone Metabolism: The prostate plays a role in the metabolism of certain hormones, particularly testosterone, which is important for the development and maintenance of the male reproductive system.

As men age, the prostate can sometimes become a site of health concern, with conditions such as prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate cancer being common issues that can affect the prostate gland. Regular check-ups and screenings are often recommended to monitor the health of the prostate, especially as men get older.

How does the prostate change as you get older?

The prostate is known to undergo several changes as a man ages. Some of the common changes associated with the aging process include:

  1. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): This is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that commonly occurs as men age. It can lead to symptoms such as frequent urination, especially at night, weak urine flow, and the feeling of incomplete bladder emptying.
  2. Prostatitis: This refers to the inflammation of the prostate gland and can be caused by various factors, including bacterial infection. It can lead to symptoms such as pain in the groin area, difficulty urinating, and flu-like symptoms.
  3. Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer: The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age. Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men, particularly in older men. Regular screenings, such as the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination (DRE), are often recommended for early detection.
  4. Hormonal Changes: With age, hormonal changes can also affect the prostate. Testosterone levels may decrease, which can influence the size and function of the prostate.

These changes can have varying degrees of impact on urinary and sexual function. It is important for men to be aware of these changes and to consult a healthcare professional if they experience any symptoms that may indicate issues with their prostate health.

Regular check-ups and screenings can help in the early detection and management of any potential prostate-related conditions.

Does the prostate change in size?

The size of a prostate changes too, when you are aged between 0-50 the prostate is the size of a walnut, between 50 and 60 this increases to the size of a golf ball, between 60 and 80 this becomes the size of an average lemon, and over 80 it can become the size of a cricket ball.

Do I need to get my prostate checked out?

It’s important to be proactive about your health, especially when it comes to conditions like prostate health. While having some risk factors doesn’t necessarily mean you will develop prostate issues, being aware of them can help you make informed decisions and take necessary precautions.

Here are some steps you can take to stay on top of your prostate health:

  1. Regular Check-ups: Visit your healthcare provider for regular check-ups, especially if you fall into any of the high-risk categories or experience any symptoms related to prostate issues.
  2. Healthy Lifestyle: Maintain a healthy lifestyle by incorporating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding habits such as smoking that can contribute to health issues.
  3. Awareness: Stay informed about the symptoms and risk factors associated with prostate issues and seek medical advice promptly if you notice any concerning changes in your health.
  4. Early Detection: Early detection of prostate issues, including cancer, significantly increases the chances of successful treatment. Regular screenings and discussions with your healthcare provider can aid in early detection.

Remember that while certain risk factors might increase the likelihood of developing prostate health issues, staying informed and taking the necessary steps can help you manage your health proactively.

If you have any concerns, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional for personalised guidance and advice.

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