Understanding PSA – I_D_2_a

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

Understanding PSA

Ejaculation or vigorous bicycle riding can cause a small increase in your PSA level. Consider repeating your PSA test in two weeks, after you’ve avoided bicycle riding and intercourse for at least 48 hours. If your repeat PSA level returns to normal (less than four), this is excellent news. If your PSA test remains elevated, further evaluation is probably needed. Your options include:

  • referral to a urologist (prostate specialist)
  • measuring your “free” PSA level — This special way of testing your PSA level may help to decide if a biopsy is needed. High levels of free PSA are reassuring, while low levels are worrisome for cancer.

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