male genitourinary System, Prostate and bladder, sagittal sectionWhat is the prostate?

This section aims to answer these commonly asked questions about what the prostate is:
  • What is the prostate?
  • Why do men have a prostate?
  • What does the prostate do?

5 facts About The Prostate:

  1. The prostate is a gland which forms a part of the male reproductive system.
  2. After puberty, the prostate is often described as being similar in size to a walnut.
  3. It’s primary function is to store, and release semen upon ejaculation.
  4. The prostate is linked with incontinence and cancer.
  5. It’s stimulation can heighten the intensity of a male orgasm.

Where is the prostate?

This section aims to answer these commonly asked questions about where the prostate is located:
  • How can the prostate be found?
  • How far up the anus is the prostate?
  • How should the prostate feel?

5 Facts About The Prostate and it’s location:

  1. The prostate is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.
  2. It surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that discharges urine and semen.
  3. Insert a finger into the anus, with the finger pad towards the penis. The prostate is a rounded lump roughly 10cm inside and towards the root of the penis.
  4. External prostate massage involves applying pressure to the perineum, which is the area about halfway between the anus and the scrotum.
  5. Prostate massage can also be applied by gently rubbing the lower stomach, between the pubic bone and the belly button.

What is the shape and size of the prostate?

This section aims to answer these commonly asked questions about the size and texture of the prostate:
  • What size is the prostate?
  • How should the prostate feel?
  • What is prostate massage?

5 facts About The size and feel of the Prostate:

  1. In adult men, the prostate is roughly the size of a walnut, weighing between 7 and 16 grams.
  2. For pleasure, internal prostate massage is said to be similar to a pre-orgasm state, yet for only as long as stimulation is applied.
  3. The prostate can be stimulated for pleasure by applying pressure to the perineum.
  4. For personal examination, the prostate feels like a small bump, with a texture that differs from the rectum wall.
  5. To examine, feel the walls of the rectum, turning the finger to feel for any bumps or lumps that could indicate cancer, tumors, or cysts.

CAUTION: An internal clinical prostate exam requires the correct procedure, and the experience of understanding the presentation of symptoms

What are the signs of prostate cancer symptoms?

This section aims to answer these commonly asked questions about the signs of prostate cancer:
  • What are the 5 warning signs of prostate cancer?
  • What pain does prostate disease cause?
  • Is it obvious when having prostate cancer?

5 signs of Prostate cancer:

  1. A painful or burning sensation, or signs of blood during urination or ejaculation.
  2. Frequent urination, particularly at night.
  3. Difficulty stopping or starting urination.
  4. Sudden erectile dysfunction.
  5. Early stages of prostate cancer could present no signs or symptoms.

Straight-talking about prostate

This section aims to answer some commonly asked questions about the prostate:
  • Prostrate cancer does not exist, as prostrate means to lay face down and stretched out
  • Prostate cancer is NOT more common in gay or bisexual men
  • Women do NOT have a prostate gland, but do have a Skene’s gland, which secretes a watery substance during female ‘ejaculation

Should prostate cancer be regularly checked?

This section aims to answer these commonly asked questions about prostate cancer check-ups:
  • What age should prostate screening start?
  • Does NHS screen for prostate cancer?
  • When is prostate cancer most likely to occur?

5 facts about prostate cancer check-ups:

  1. Be aware of the warning signs of a Prostate Problem, especially hereditary prostate cancer, which is the most common form of prostate cancer.
  2. Prostate cancer is a threat to men of any age, from late-teens to the elderly.
  3. There is currently no screening programme for prostate cancer in the UK. It is not proven that the benefits would outweigh the risks.
  4. Any man in the UK aged 50+ can request a PSA Test (prostate specific antigen) following GP consultation.
  5. PSA is Produced by Prostate Cells. Rising PSA can indicate Prostate Cancer. .

What is the most accurate test for prostate cancer?

This section aims to answer these commonly asked questions about prostate cancer screening:
  • What is the most accurate test for prostate cancer?
  • What is PSA testing?
  • What is prostatitis

5 facts about prostate cancer screening:

  1. Prostate cancer screening includes a PSA test (prostate-specific antigen), which looks for signs in the prostate tissue and for any prostate cancer cells.
  2. Prostate cancer screening may include an exam of your rectal, or prostate (psa) blood. If your psa blood looks abnormal, this indicates the likelihood of cancer.
  3. A core needle biopsy is the main method used to diagnose prostate cancer. It is usually performed by a urologist.
  4. A post-diagnosis digital rectal exam is performed to confirm or rule out cancer.
  5. It is important to have the prostate cancer risk (risk factor) assessed at the time of biopsy (prostatitis).

Does prostate cancer affect a man in bed?

This section aims to answer these commonly asked questions about sexual performance:
  • How does prostate cancer affect sex?
  • Can you be sexually active after prostate cancer?
  • What happens after prostate removal (prostatectomy)?

5 facts about prostate cancer and sex:

  1. After treatment for prostate cancer, it is likely for people to have a reduced interest in sex, an inability to get an erection, and possible fertility issues.
  2. There should still be feeling in the penis, and it should still be possible to have an orgasm, albeit different than prior to treatment.
  3. Following surgery, many men experience erectile dysfunction (ED), but for many, the disruption is temporary.
  4. Some men can lose the ability to orgasm, especially if they are on hormone therapy.
  5. After recuperating from surgery and hormone therapy, it should be possible to return to sexual activity . Ejaculation will still occur, although it is likely to result in little to no semen.

Can Prostate cancer make you infertile?

This section aims to answer these commonly asked questions about fertility:
  • Will I be infertile after a prostatectomy?
  • What is a dry orgasm?
  • Where does sperm go after prostatectomy?

5 facts about prostate cancer and fertility:

  1. A radical prostatectomy involves surgery to remove the prostate gland. Many men are unable to get an erection during the recovery phase.
  2. When the prostate is removed, a man has no ability to make semen or ejaculate semen, so infertility is an unavoidable and permanent consequence.
  3. Cancer treatment radiation may also damage the prostate’s ability to produce semen, or damage the sperm cells in the testicles.
  4. After radical prostatectomy, a man will no longer produce any semen because the prostate and seminal vesicle have been removed.
  5. The testicles still make sperm cells, but then the body harmlessly reabsorbs them.

Related questions and answers


What is an Enlarged Prostate?

An enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic enlargement (BPE), is quite common in men of 50-years and older.
It can sometimes be referred to as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), which refers to the increased enlargement through the growth of prostate cells.
The cause of benign prostate enlargement is unknown, but it’s believed to be linked to hormonal changes as a man gets older.
It is estimated that 1 in 3 men over the age of 50 experience some enlarged prostate gland problems, often identified by urinary incontinence.

Some of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate are:

  • a weak flow when urinating;
  • a sense that the bladder hasn’t fully emptied properly;
  • difficulty starting to urinate;
  • dribbling urine after you finish urinating;
  • needing to urinate more often, especially at night;
  • a sudden urge to urinate – you may sometimes leak before you get to the toilet.

Please bear in mind that these symptoms are not necessarily positive indicators of BPE or BPH, and it is also worth noting that some men have no symptoms at all.
It is also important to understand that having an enlarged prostate is not in itself indicative of prostate cancer.

If you are diagnosed with BPE, or want to take steps to protect against any onset, then these lifestyle changes will help:

  • drinking less alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks;
  • limiting your intake of artificial sweeteners;
  • exercising regularly;
  • drinking less in the evening;
  • taking Medicine to reduce the size of the prostate, if medically advised.
  • prostate surgery is usually only recommended for moderate to severe symptoms that have not responded to medicine.

What is Prostatitis

Acute bacterial prostatitis is most commonly caused by a bacterial infection.
This is usually when bacteria in the urine leaks into the prostate.
The condition is treated with antibiotics, and if the infection is not fully cleared, it could result in more serious conditions, such as recurring prostatitis or chronic bacterial prostatitis.

It is also possible for prostatitis to occur following surgery or trauma leading to nerve damage in the lower urinary tract.

If pelvic pain, difficult or painful urination, or painful ejaculation is experienced, then it is strongly recommended that medical intervention is sought.
There is however no direct evidence that prostatitis can lead to prostate cancer.

Q. How can I get hard after a prostatectomy?

  • It is possible to get prescribed medication such as sildenafil, vardenafil, or tadalafil.
    These medications increase blood flow to the penis, which may restore the ability to have an erection.

Q. What is BPH?

  • Enlargement of the prostate is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It occurs when the cells of the prostate gland begin to multiply, and the gland swell.
    This in turn squeezes the urethra, limiting the urine flow.
    It is not always necessary to see a doctor about early signs of BPH, as lifestyle changes could make the difference.
    However, if the problem appears more serious, then it is always sensible to seek further medical advice and clinical tests.

What is a Rectal examination?

A rectal examination is a physical examination where a finger is inserted into the rectum by a trained medical professional.
There should not be any pain during this procedure, but a patient might experience some discomfort, mostly due to the invasive nature of the test.

A rectal examination is sometimes needed to investigate:

  • bleeding from the anus;
  • pain in the rectal passage;
  • constipation;
  • bowel incontinence or urinary incontinence.

This procedure is often recommended when checking for a prostate problem.
It might also be referred to as a Digital rectal examination (DRE), where digital refers to finger (rather than by email).
If the test raises concerns, then further prostate cancer screening could be recommended, such as a prostate biopsy or prostate exam.

Q. What is testosterone?

  • Testosterone is a predominantly male sex hormone called an androgen.
    In men, testosterone helps maintain sperm production, muscle and bone mass, facial and body hair, sex drive, and red blood cell production.
    In later life, a man’s testosterone production starts to decline.
    Many men develop symptoms of low testosterone, or “low T,” which include erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive, low energy, reduced muscle mass and bone density.
    Research does suggest however that testosterone hormone therapy does increase prostate cancer growth.

5 great resources for anyone concerned about prostate:

  1. Guide for Gay and Bisexual men

The Prostate Cancer Foundation Free Prostate Cancer Guide

  1. Macmillan Cancer Support Signs of prostate cancer Booklet
  2. A quick Guide to The PSA Test and Prostate Cancer

The National Cancer Institute Guide to Enlarged Prostate and BPH

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