All males have a prostate. The prostate gland is a muscular gland that is the size of an apricot and is responsible for producing some of the ingredients that make up the semen. It seems that it’s an important part of the male body, especially for reproduction. Question is, can men live without a prostate?
Prostate Gland Function
The prostate is located below the bladder and right in front of the rectum. It weighs around 30 grams or one ounce and surrounds the tube, the urethra, that transports urine coming from the bladder and moving towards the penis. The prostate gland is also essential for the efficient and proper function of the reproductive system of males.
But what does the prostate actually do or accomplish? As stated earlier, the prostate gland is only present in male individuals and is tasked with the excretion of a liquid that can keep sperm healthy and alive and acts as protection for the genetic codes carried by the said sperm. The contraction of the prostate also occurs during ejaculation as it squirts the liquid into the urethra.
When ejaculating, the sperm will be transported in two (2) tubes of the vas deferens. These tubes will then transport millions of sperm from the location where they were created which is the testes to the seminal vesicles. The Seminal vesicles are connected to the prostate and can help provide additional liquid to the semen before it is transferred to the urethra. The ejaculatory duct is the location where the seminal vesicles and the vas deferens intersect or meet.
It is also impossible to urinate and ejaculate at the same time as during ejaculation, the prostate will contract which closes off the opening found between the opening of the urethra and the bladder which will then push the semen at high speed.
The prostate gland is flanked on all sides by muscle fibers that make up protective and connective tissue. This can make the prostate’s texture elastic to an individual’s touch. Experts will usually identify the portions of the prostate like layers on onion with four layers in total encircling the urethra. Enumerated below are some of the portions of the prostate:
The Stroma or the Anterior Fibromuscular zone
Physically looks like a capsule and made up of fibrous and muscular tissue. This is the outermost portion of the prostate.
The location where the glandular tissue is located and found in the back portion of the prostate gland
The central zone composes one-quarter of the total mass of the prostate gland and surrounds the ducts for ejaculation.
The transition zone is the innermost portion of the prostate gland and is the only zone of the prostate that all throughout life will continue to grow and develop. It also surrounds the urethra and is the smallest part of the prostate.
Health Conditions That May Require Prostate Removal
The answer to the main question here: Yes, it is possible for men to live without a prostate.
The prostate gland may be affected by a number of different medical conditions and the most possible reason for having the prostate gland removed is prostate cancer. Listed below are some of the said health issues:
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in male patients with roughly one (1) in seven (7) males contracting the said cancer. One (1) out of Thirty-five (35) patients will die of the above-mentioned cancer.
Enlargement of the Prostate
Also referred to BPH or benign prostatic hypertrophy, this condition usually affects males who are beyond fifty (50) years of age. This condition may make it more difficult for patients to urinate and in some cases that are extremely serious, can entirely cease the ability to urinate. It has also been observed that prostate enlargement usually occurs in the transition zone.
What Are the Possible Effects of Living Without One?
Technically speaking, it is possible for people to live without a prostate. This removal of the prostate is initiated by some male patients who may have been genetically identified as to have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer. This means that the removal may be due to two main considerations. First, is if the prostate is already functioning incorrectly or is already afflicted with an illness such as cancer. The other reason for the removal of the prostate is when it is a preemptive medical procedure to eliminate the chances of possibly developing prostate cancer.
Now, we’ve pretty much established that it is indeed possible to live without a prostate. However, there are some possible adverse side effects to the said removal of the prostate gland and in living without one. Here are some:
A penis that is shrunken
As hormones like antiandrogen are introduced to help in the treatment of male patients with advanced symptoms of prostate cancer, it was observed that around 68% of men who underwent the aforementioned hormone treatment experienced some form of shrinking of the penis. This is particularly observed in patients who had surgery to remove the prostate.
Some patients may also experience dry orgasms or orgasms that do not have any semen coming out of the penis after surgery. This is because the semen is sent back to the bladder instead of being pushed out of the male reproductive organ.