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The Prostate Basics Menu

The Male Urinary and Sexual System
Items in bold correspond to the drawing

The bladder is emptied by way of the urethra, a tube passing through the prostate gland. The main function of the prostate is to supply fluid for sperm that has been collected in the seminal vesicles. Ejaculation is when the seminal vesicles and prostate empty.

drawing of male urinary and sexual system The seminal vesicles are supplied by the vas deferens from the epididymis, a tightly coiled, tube next to the testicle that provides for the storage, transmission, and maturation of sperm.

Before ejaculation, the Cowper's glands secrete an alkaline fluid that neutralizes any urine that may be left in the urethra. The fluid also has a lubricating quality. Because these glands are often spared in a prostatectomy, they may continue to function, even though there is no ejaculate.

This also shows how the position of the prostate allows a digital rectal examination (DRE), rectal ultrasound and biopsy. For a drawing on how the DRE is done, click here.

For another diagram of the prostate, click here.

To go to the interactive glossary, click here.

Diagram is from the on-line book, "You and Your Prostate," produced by the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs.

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This information is provided for educational purposes only and does not replace or amend professional medical advice. Unless otherwise stated and credited, the content of Phoenix5 (P5) is by and the opinion of and copyright © 2000 Robert Vaughn Young. All Rights Reserved. P5 is at <>. P5's policy regarding privacy and right to reprint are at <>.