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prostate gland


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A male accessory sex gland that opens into the urethra just below the bladder and vas deferens (see illustration). During ejaculation it secretes an alkaline fluid that forms part of the semen. The prostate may become enlarged in elderly men (benign prostatic hyperplasia; BPH). This may result in obstruction of the neck of the bladder, impairing urination. The bladder dilates and the increased pressure is transmitted through the ureters to the kidney nephrons, leading to damage and impaired function of the kidneys. Treatment is by transurethral resection of the prostate (see also prostatectomy) or by means of drugs (e.g. finasteride, alpha blockers).

The prostate gland and associated structures (median view).

Subjects: Medicine and Health.


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