The prostate is a gland that is an essential part of the part of a man’s reproductive system. It is located just outside the bladder and surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen from inside the body to the tip of the penis).
The prostate’s role in the body is to add nutrients and fluids to the semen. Its normal size is about the same as a walnut.
As men age, the prostate typically gets larger. Because of its position surrounding the urethra and close to the bladder, this may result in changes in urination, like having to go more often, difficulty starting urination and/or taking a long time to go (weak stream). When the prostate grows and there is no other disease (like prostate cancer) behind those changes, it is known as benign prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). This is completely different from prostate cancer.