What is the prostate?
The prostate is a small gland that forms part of a man’s reproductive system. It is about the size of a golf ball and surrounds the tube that empties urine from the bladder, called the urethra.
It is normal for the prostate to swell as a man gets older, but if the swelling gets too big, it can block the urethra, making it difficult to pass urine. This swelling is called benign prostate enlargement or BPE.
BPE is not cancer. In most cases, BPE is not a serious health concern and is a treatable condition.
What does the prostate do?
The prostate makes a thick white fluid that mixes with sperm from your testicles to make semen. It also produces a protein called prostate-specific antigen or PSA. PSA helps reduce the thickness of semen, so it is thinner and more fluid.
Do men have hormones?
Hormones are chemicals that carry messages around the body. In men, a hormone called testosterone is made by the testicles and controls how the prostate works. Testosterone is responsible for a man’s sex drive and getting an erection. For this reason, you may hear testosterone called a “sex hormone”.
Do trans women have a prostate?
Yes. If you are a trans woman or a non-binary individual assigned male at birth, you have a prostate.
Some trans women may have had genital reconstructive, or gender reassignment, surgery. Although converting a man’s anatomy to a woman’s anatomy involves removing the penis and the testicles, this surgery does not remove the prostate.
If you are taking hormones or testosterone blockers, these may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by lowering your testosterone levels. It is still very important to have a prostate check if you have any known symptoms or are at increased risk of prostate cancer.
We know it can be a difficult conversation to have, but we encourage you to speak to your doctor.