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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Done digital rectal examination. Does having sex have any effect on PSA level?

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Dr. Stephen Christensen

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 212 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 21 Dec 2012 in Men's Health
Question: I went for a DRE...I had sex 24 hours before, I also rode a bike...Also the Dr. gave me a DRE before the PSA! He told me to run down to the lab right away and give the blood...I think he XXXXXXX my PSA level bty not a asking me about sex, biking and not giving me the PSA test FIRST! Thanks
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Answered by Dr. Stephen Christensen 3 hours later
Hello. I'm Dr. Christensen.
Your concerns about your PSA are well-placed. A digital rectal exam, ejaculation, or groin pressure or injury (e.g., bicycling) can all elevate PSA levels temporarily. In most cases, we ask patients to avoid ejaculating for at least 24 hours (72 hours is better) prior to a PSA measurement, and we generally refrain from drawing a PSA on any man who has had a digital rectal exam or significant prostate pressure within 2 to 3 weeks. It's usually okay to draw a PSA IMMEDIATELY after performing a DRE, as it takes a few hours for your serum PSA to rise. In your case, though, your level could be artificially elevated by your sexual activity and bike riding the day before. (Some studies suggest that free PSA levels are particularly sensitive to prostate pressure and tend to rise preferentially following DRE.)
If your PSA is elevated, I suggest you have it rechecked in one to three months -- after avoiding ejaculation for at least 24 hours and bike riding for a couple of weeks -- to get a more reliable value.
I hope that answers your question. I'll be available if you have additional concerns.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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