What to Expect After Your Prostate Biopsy?

You’ll probably get a care sheet from your urologist.  Maybe you found a website with a list of possible side effects on the internet.  Beyond that, there aren’t a lot of reports with personal experiences from a prostate biopsy.  Probably for obvious reasons.  Most guys don’t want to talk about it.  Some are just too tough or too cool to tell it like it really is.  With a careful Google search, you can find some personal experiences on the procedure.  There are even a few horror stories.  If you’re squeamish when reading about unpleasant medical complications, STOP READING NOW!

According to the link above from the Mayo Clinic, here’s the original summary from 2009 of what to expect:

After a prostate biopsy, you’ll probably need to continue taking an antibiotic for a few days. You may feel slight soreness and have some light bleeding from your rectum. You may have blood in your urine or stools for a few days. You may also notice that your semen has a pinkish tint caused by a small amount of blood in your semen. This can last for more than a month.

The first part is pretty much right on the money, in my experience.  It’s that last part that may not be completely accurate.  In fact, a number of respectable institutions fail to mention this issue at all on their information.  Here’s the squeamish part.  A pinkish tint doesn’t begin to describe it.  Initially, we’re talking dark, blood red, as if you have a serious medical problem.  Now, there’s no pain or discomfort involved, the systems works just like normal in that regard, it’s just disconcerting to see it.  Your wife, girlfriend or other woman may not be as sympathetic about this sort of thing as you’d like, given that they have dealt with a similar issue since puberty.  Even so, you should probably consider having condoms on hand and using them.

This may not be the case with all men after a biopsy, but it doesn’t seem uncommon from what I’ve read.  I find it interesting that I wasn’t once told about this possibility and it wasn’t on my care sheet, either.  You’d think they’d at least mention it to avoid getting panic calls from guys who didn’t do a little research before the procedure.  Well, if you’re going for a biopsy, consider yourself warned.  Maybe it won’t happen to you.  I hope not!

Also see my guide for recovery, side effects and complications from my second biopsy, and read the hundreds of comments with personal experiences from other men below.

For those looking for worst case scenarios, like infections or spreading cancer, you can find that too.  These are some of the things that worried me enough to postpone my biopsy in the first place.  Some websites go overboard, perhaps trying to use fear as a motivator to get you to consider their alternatives.  It’s a powerful motivator, but however small, there are some serious risks that should be considered.  For most men, the complications are minimal.  A little pain, some blood and obviously the anxiety of waiting for results.  Nonetheless, I think patients should be made aware of all possible risks so they know if they need medical attention or not.

Originally published Mar 9, 2009. Minor update, March 9, 2019.

576 thoughts on “What to Expect After Your Prostate Biopsy?”

  1. Just had one. Two hours ago. The intense feeling of needing to pee is starting to subside. The anesthetic is starting to wear off and my ass is really starting to hurt.

  2. I’m putting this info here to add to the data base for those who are also “living the dream”

    I’ve been dealing with high PSA for 13 years. Levels started at 6.4 and have fluctuated over the years between a low of 6.2 and recent high of 12.2. Had an MRI that showed the peripheral zone was clear, but that the transition zone was “markedly enlarged” and protruding into my bladder. Because of its size, the radiologist graded it a PIRADS 5….. indicating most certainly cancer.

    Had my 4th biopsy, yes 4th, that was combined with ultrasound to target the enlarged transition zone. All samples negative with no abnormalities.

    I’m the perfect example of how a high PSA is not necessarily an indicator of cancer. I just wanted to put this out there for anyone who is apprehensive about a high PSA result.

    My urologist has stated that the chances of me developing a significant cancer are in the 1% range, so essentially I have “graduated” from having any more biopsies.

    Having said that, I must emphasize that all of my biopsies were non-events and really not that intolerable. I’d much rather know that I am cancer free than have the dark cloud of uncertainty hanging over me.

    Don’t be hesitant to get a biopsy guys.

  3. Does your prostate keep bleeding for weeks after a biopsy or does it just take that long to get rid of the blood from the day of the procedure? Do you need to take antibiotics for all that time too?

    1. Pauld- I would only think it would keep bleeding in unusual circumstances like if you have a bleeding condition. As far as I know, the active bleeding should mostly stop within a day or two, or a little more in some cases. After that, it’s just all the blood that is stored up in the prostate gland that has to be reabsorbed or cleared out by ejaculation. You should see a slow progression of less and less red color over a few weeks. My experience has been only an antibiotic just before the procedure as a preventative, though I have read cases where people have received a full course after, too. I suppose it depends on the physician and history.

  4. Thank you for this page! My urologist didn’t bother to mention the biggest side effect- dark red semen! I thought I had internal bleeding or an infection. Id think they would put this on the post-op care sheet at least.

  5. Had my biopsy on my prostate two days ago. Had heavy bleeding almost immediately after procedure, as I was leaving the hospital. Changed when I got home and by then it had stopped. Alarming symptoms such as deep red blood after ejaculation. Urinating was not too difficult and urine was cloudy looking, not much sign of blood. No Bowel movement now for two days and a little bit worried about that. Is that normal? Hoping this will clear up soon and i’lle soon get my results.

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