Common causes of raised PSA in men

Prostate cancer is often considered the main cause of elevated prostate-specific antigen levels. However, your prostate gland may produce excess PSA due to many other reasons.

Here are non-cancerous factors that can trigger a rise in PSA levels.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Abbreviated as BHP, benign prostatic hyperplasia can elevate your PSA levels. What’s more, it can affect your urinary tract and bladder. Men with this condition often have a hard time urinating.

Symptoms of BHP include:

• An urgent need to urinate
• Difficulty initiating urination
• Frequent urination
• Inability to empty the bladder completely
• Weak urine output, including starts and stops during urination

Prostate inflammation

Otherwise known as prostatitis, this condition is often caused by a bacterial infection. It’s characterised by the irritation, inflammation, and swelling of the prostate gland.

Common symptoms of prostate inflammation include:

• Difficulty urinating
• Discomfort during urination
• Abdominal pain

Parathyroid hormone

The body produces the parathyroid hormone to regulate the blood’s calcium levels. High levels of this naturally occurring hormone may spike PSA levels. Also, it may promote the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Surgical procedures

Invasive treatments that cause trauma or bruising to your groin can affect your PSA levels. These treatments include procedures that involve insertion of a catheter, or any other instrument, into the bladder.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

Some men have raised PSA levels because of untreated UTIs, which can be treated with antibiotics. Symptoms of a urinary tract infection include:

• Fevers or chills
• Abdominal pain
• A constant urge to urinate
• Foul-smelling urine
• Abdominal pain
• Lower back pain
• Inability to fully relieve the bladder


After ejaculation, some men experience elevated PSA levels for up to 24 hours. Before taking a PSA test, you may want to abstain from sexual activities that may involve ejaculation.

Prostate injury

Your PSA levels way spike temporarily if you suffer an injury to the groin.

Riding a bike

Some studies have revealed that bicycle riding can cause a rise in PSA levels. Although more research is needed to understand the effects of cycling on PSA levels, it’s best to avoid riding a bike two days prior to your PSA test.


As you get older, your prostate tissues grow bigger. This growth can increase the production of PSA in your prostate glands.

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