Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


  • Marc A. Kowalkouski
  • Heather Honoré GoltzEmail author
  • Stacey L. Hart
  • David Latini
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_210



Prostate Anatomy

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that functions in the male reproductive system. It is positioned in front of the rectum and directly below the bladder, which stores urine. The prostate also encircles the proximal urethra, the canal which carries urine from the bladder and through the penis.

Three distinct zones of glandular tissue make up the prostate: the peripheral zone, central zone, and transition zone. Additionally, there is an area of fibromuscular tissue on the anterior surface. Each anatomic zone is uniquely affected by different disease processes. The majority of prostate cancers develop in the peripheral zone, the largest zone by volume, while benign prostatic hyperplasia originates in the transition zone.


Prostate Function

The prostate produces the thick, milky-white alkaline fluid that forms part of semen. The fluid provides nourishment to sperm and, along with fluid from the bulbourethral (Cowper’s)...

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References and Readings

  1. Gacci, M., Bartoletti, R., Figlioli, S., Sarti, E., Eisner, B., Boddi, V., et al. (2003). Urinary symptoms, quality of life and sexual function in patients with benign prostatic hypertrophy before and after prostatectomy: A prospective study. British Journal of Urology International, 91, 196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Mitropoulos, D., Anastasiou, I., Giannopoulou, C., Nikolopoulos, P., Alamanis, Z., & Dimopoulos, C.(2002). Symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia: Impact on partners’ quality of life. European Urology, 41, 240–245.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ramakrishnan, K., & Salinas, R. C. (2010). Prostatitis: Acute and chronic. Primary Care, 37, 547–563, vii–ix.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Tanagho, E. A., & McAninch, J. W. (Eds.). (2008). Smith’s general urology (17th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  5. Wein, A. J., Coyne, K. S., Tubaro, A., Sexton, C. C., Kopp, Z. S., & Aiyer, L. P. (2009). The impact of lower urinary tract symptoms on male sexual health: EpiLUTS. British Journal of Urology International, 103(Suppl. 3), 33–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc A. Kowalkouski
    • 1
  • Heather Honoré Goltz
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Stacey L. Hart
    • 3
  • David Latini
    • 4
  1. 1.HSR&D Center of ExcellenceMichael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center (MEDVAMC 152)HoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social SciencesUniversity of Houston-DowntownHoustonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Scott Department of UrologyBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA