October 13, 2022

How To Prepare For A PSA Test

A PSA test is a blood test that measures prostate-specific antigens in men. A raised or lowered PSA can indicate prostate problems, such as prostate cancer. A PSA test can help detect certain conditions early so that they can be diagnosed and treated. 

Before we discuss PSA tests a little further, we’re going to cover what prostate-specific antigen exactly is.

Prostate-specific antigen is a protein made by the prostate gland, which is a small gland that is situated just below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

Prostate-specific antigen plays a vital role in men’s fertility since it provides sperm with the necessary fluid to enable it to be transported during ejaculation. 

Several conditions can affect PSA levels.

Reasons For Increased PSA:

doctor filling in medical records

  • Enlarged ProstateTypically experienced by men over fifty, an enlarged prostate can cause urinary problems. This is because, when enlarged, the prostate can put pressure on the bladder. When a man’s prostate is larger than usual, then his PSA level may increase.
  • A Prostate InfectionIf a man has a prostate infection, also known as prostatitis, then, again, this can affect their level of PSA. Prostatitis generally affects men between the ages of thirty and fifty. Symptoms include urinary problems, lower back ache, and pain around the penis, anus, and abdomen. Paracetamol may be required to help manage the pain.
  • Prostate CancerThe symptoms of prostate cancer may not be immediately apparent. If someone is having trouble urinating, or they’re urinating more than usual, then this could be a sign of prostate cancer. PSA levels may rise, which is why men over fifty need to have regular prostate exams (at least every two years).

Since the above conditions generally affect PSA levels, it is recommended that they’re frequently checked via a blood test. 

If you’re planning on arranging a PSA blood test, then consider the below factors to help ensure accurate results.

Ways To Avoid Raising Or Lowering PSA Levels

Serious patient listening to advice of professional practitioner after examination

An artificially raised PSA level can lead to an inaccurate result from your PSA blood test. Therefore, take the below steps to ensure a test will be able to accurately measure your PSA levels.

  • Avoid ejaculation for at least 48 hours before your PSA blood test – This is because more PSA may be shot into the bloodstream.
  • Don’t do any vigorous exercise for at least 48 before your PSA test – This can cause a temporary rise in your PSA levels.
  • You should not have had a urinary infection within the last few months – This is because PSA levels may remain higher than usual even after the infection has cleared. Have a UTI Test if you suspect you may have a urinary infection.
  • Avoid a prostate exam no less than six weeks prior to having a PSA blood test – The exam can cause the prostate to be stimulated, so more PSA may be released into the bloodstream. 
  • Avoid a PSA test after having surgery – If you’ve recently had surgery due to a urinary problem caused by an enlarged prostate, then this can lower your PSA levels since there won’t be enough tissue as usual.
  • Notify your doctor of any medications you are on before your PSA test – Make your doctor aware of any medication you’re taking, so that they can advise whether they may affect your PSA levels and, ultimately, your results. Certain medications, such as Proscar and Avodart, can raise or lower PSA levels.

As previously mentioned, it is important to monitor your PSA levels regularly, particularly over a certain age, so consider booking your private PSA blood test today. 

By choosing to have a private PSA blood test, you’ll save on waiting time as well as receive your results quicker.