Bock, Walter J. Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York.
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A triangular body in men, the size and shape of a chestnut, that lies immediately in front of the bladder with its apex directed down and forward. It is found only in the male, having no female counterpart. The prostatic portion of the urethra extends through it, passing from the bladder to the penis. This organ contains 15–20 branched, tubular glands which form lobules. The gland ducts open into the urethra. Between the gland clusters, or alveoli, there is a dense, fibrous connecting tissue, the stroma, which also forms a tough capsule around the gland, continuous with the bladder wall. Penetrating the prostate to empty into the urethra are the ejaculatory ducts from the seminal vesicles which are located above and behind the organ (see illustration). The prostatic gland secretes a viscid, alkaline fluid which aids in sperm motility and in neutralizing the acidity of the vagina, thus enhancing fertilization.
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