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Practicalities of the PSA test

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • PSA is stable in whole blood for up to 16 hours at room temperature - therefore the specimen should reach the laboratory and be separated within this time frame
  • before having a PSA test men should NOT have:
    • an active urinary infection (PSA may be raised for many months)
    • ejaculated in the previous 48 hours
    • exercised vigorously in the previous 48 hours
    • or had a prostate biopsy in the previous 6 weeks
    • had a DRE within the previous week (1)
    • also has been stated that checking a PSA should be avoided for one week if either a man has been the receptive partner in anal sex or had his prostate gland stimulated (2)
    • 2 weeks after flu-like symptoms (3)



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