Prostate & Male Health Exams

The prostate is a reproductive gland found in males. It’s the size of a chestnut located below the bladder, in front of the rectum, and surrounds the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries the urine through the penis from the bladder. The function of the prostate is to secrete fluid during ejaculation. But like any other organ or parts of the body, the prostate can also get inflamed and not function correctly
The only way to check the prostate gland is during the digital rectal exam. The prostate should be checked yearly for males over age 50, and yearly for males over age 40 if they are in the higher risk category. When the exam is performed, the doctor is checking for the size of the prostate, the feel of the prostate, the mobility, if there are any extensions into the rectum and if there is any pain during the palpation of the prostate.

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Like females check their breasts monthly, the males also have a monthly self exam to do-on their penis. All males past puberty should be doing the monthly tests. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young males.

When performing the test, first examine the head of the penis. Are there any lumps, lesions, or discoloration? Then examine the urethral meatus. The urethral meatus is the opening of the penis. Normally, the urethral meatus should be pink, slit-like and free of discharge. The next step is to strip the urethra and look for any discharge. Using firm pressure, start at the base of the penis and strip/slide to the end of the penis. Having a discharge would be abnormal. Inspect the entire penis and the pubic hair area and then palpate the scrotum/testes, feeling for any lumps.