Function of the Prostate Gland
The prostate gland secretes a thin, milky fluid that contains calcium, citrate ion, phosphate ion, a clotting enzyme, and a profibrinolysin. During emission, the capsule of the prostate gland contracts simultaneously with the contractions of the vas deferens so that the thin, milky fluid of the prostate gland adds further to the bulk of the semen. A slightly alkaline characteris-tic of the prostatic fluid may be quite important for successful fertilization of the ovum, because the fluid of the vas deferens is relatively acidic owing to the presence of citric acid and metabolic end products of the sperm and, consequently, helps to inhibit sperm fertility. Also, the vaginal secretions of the female are acidic (pH of 3.5 to 4.0). Sperm do not become opti-mally motile until the pH of the surrounding fluids rises to about 6.0 to 6.5. Consequently, it is probable that the slightly alkaline prostatic fluid helps to neu-tralize the acidity of the other seminal fluids during ejaculation, and thus enhances the motility and fertil-ity of the sperm.
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