10 Facts about the Prostate for National Prostate Health Month
September is National Prostate Health Month, so here are 10 facts and figures all about the prostate!
1. Anatomy Nerd
The prostate is an exocrine gland. Exocrine glands, like mammary and sweat glands, are parts of the body that produce a substance that exits the body through ducts. The substances produced by the prostate makes up 30% of the fluid volume of semen, which exits the body via the urethra.
2. Where it Lives
It’s the size of a walnut and located below the bladder, right in front of the rectum.
3. What’s in a Name?
The word prostate comes from the Greek prostates, which literally means “the one who stands before, president, leader,” but there is some etymological disagreement as to the rationale for this name. One theory is that it speaks to the prostate’s perceived metaphoric domination and importance in the body. Although if I were on the body part naming committee, I feel like “prostate” would be a better name for our brain as the leader, who’s the real boss around here, right?
4. Lions, and Tigers, and Bears
Most mammal species have prostates.
5. A “Female” Prostate?
Most of our sex organs are homologues, meaning so-called male and female structures followed a similar developmental path from their origin as embryonic tissue. For instance, the testicle and ovary developed from the same common tissue, as did the penile foreskin and clitoral hood.
The matching pair to the prostate gland is the Skene’s Gland, sometimes referred to as the “female prostate” which is located on the front wall of the vagina. Like the prostate, it secretes a fluid through the urethra and many report sexual pleasure when stimulated, but there’s still debate and conflicting research about whether or not the “female prostate” is the so-called “the g-spot”, but that’s a topic for another post. The confusion and similarities have led many to also call the prostate gland the “male g-spot”.
6. Prostate Orgasms
We know prostate induced orgasms exist, and anecdotally they are often described as being even more powerful and pleasurable than penile-induced ones. But the activation and mechanisms of prostate orgasm- in other words, “the how”- is less clear.
Proposed theories include that the nerves passing along the outer surface of the prostate are stimulated, the nerves inside the prostate itself are stimulated, or that there’s a neuroplasticity explanation and the brain “rewired” itself respond to prostate stimulation in a sexual way. Conclusion: we need a ton more medical and sociological research on prostate orgasm to learn more!
7. Prostate Toys
Because of these extra powerful orgasms, prostate play, either for masturbation or with a partner, is pretty popular and there are a number of fantastic toys available to add to the fun.
Eclipse Rocking Probe by Cal Exotics https://calexotics.com/eclipse-rocking-probe-6-60-3-black.html features a silicone stimulator that rocks back and forth in a “come hither” motion to push up against the prostate gland.
Eclipse Tapered Roller Ball Probe by Cal Exotics https://calexotics.com/eclipse-tapered-roller-ball-probe-3-50-3-black.html has a rolling pleasure ball feature at the tip of the probe for prostate massage.
Dr. Joel Kaplan Universal Prostate Probe by Cal Exotics https://calexotics.com/dr-joel-kaplan-universal-prostate-probe-9-05-2-black.html has a precision tip for prostate stimulation and an additional perineum stimulator.
8. It’s Not All Rainbows and Orgasms
Cancer of the prostate is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the United States, second only to skin cancer. The American Cancer Society’s estimates that 1 in 9 people with prostates will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. (link citation: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer.html ) The rate is 1 in 7 in Australia and the UK.
9. Signs and Symptoms
Like most cancers, early detection is extremely important. The American Cancer Society shares potential signs and symptoms, including problems urinating, blood in the semen or urine, and erectile concerns, but notes caveats that 1. often times early stage of prostate cancer has no signs at all, so it is recommended people with prostates discuss with their doctors whether, based on their age and risk factors, they should be getting routine prostate cancer screenings, and 2. these symptoms are usually signs of non-cancer related issues, so don’t panic, but you should still talk to your doctor about them just in case. (link citation: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-symptoms.html)
10. Stigma, Stigma, Go Away
The tide has been changing, but still, stigmas persist about prostate stimulation and lead some to avoid it completely, both for sexy purposes, and cancer screening prostate exams. There is no shame in the butt game!
- Dr. Jill McDevitt