Prostate exam - Definition

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The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system which has, among other functions, the secretion of semen. In case of a problem evacuating urine or semen, a prostate exam is conducted. This is a digital rectal exam, performed by a doctor, who can evaluate the size, consistency, and regularity, and detect any morphological abnormality. Often after placing a latex finger cot, a lubricant - generally Vaseline - is applied to the index finger which is inserted into the patient's rectum. The patient is lying on their side on an examination table, or on their knees, with their head resting on the table. When in doubt, the prostate can also be examined by rectal ultrasound, which shows the prostate and enables its inspection. Hormone injections or samples from the prostate by biopsy are sometimes performed.