What Is the Function of the Prostate Gland?

The primary function of the prostate gland is to secrete the alkaline fluid found in semen, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. Its secondary function is to propel the fluid and sperm cells into the urethra so it can be expelled through the tip of the penis during ejaculation.

The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. It is a walnut-sized gland that can be found between the bladder and penis. The ducts of the prostate flow into the urethra, a tube that carries urine, which passes through the middle of the gland. The vasa deferentia carry the sperm, along with other glandular fluids, from the testes where it combines with the alkaline liquid to complete the seminol mixture, explains WebMD. The prostate is as much muscular as it is glandular. The muscles are what produce the force to press the semen into the urethra.

The fluid produced by the prostate protects and nourishes the sperm. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it plays a vital role in fertility. Conditions such as an inflamed or enlarged prostate may cause urinary and fertility problems but can be treated with antibiotics, alpha-blockers or surgery. Almost all men over 50 experience some level of prostate growth.

With the exception of skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common for men. However, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone treatments and surgical removal greatly increase life expectancy with only one in 35 men dying from the disease reports WebMD. Regular prostate exams result in early detection, which greatly increases recovery time and survival rates.