What Causes PSA Test Numbers to Rise When Testing a Man's Prostate?

PSA test numbers are thought to rise when there is a change in the cellular structure of the prostate, states MedicineNet. Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate, is the most common cause of elevated PSA levels. Cancer of the prostate is another possible cause.

Manipulation of the prostate, including ejaculation, prostate examination, prostate biopsy and catheter placement, can cause PSA numbers to rise, adds MedicineNet. Urinary retention can also cause elevated prostate test results. Age is a factor as well; prostate levels are usually higher in older men.

Any infection in the area of the prostate gland can cause elevated PSA levels, according to Everyday Health. A urinary tract infection can cause irritation and inflammation of the prostate, so it's best to wait until the infection clears before undergoing PSA testing. Prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate, can be caused by bacteria or other issues and can lead to rising PSA levels. Some studies have indicated that excessive bicycle riding has an impact on PSA levels, although other studies have shown no effects.

The PSA test measures the amount of prostate-specific antigen in the blood, explains the National Cancer Institute. PSA levels are often elevated in men with prostate cancer, but some men with prostate cancer do not have elevated PSA levels.