What Are Some Side Effects of a Prostate Biopsy?

Typical side effects of a prostate biopsy include blood in the semen, difficulty urinating and bleeding at the biopsy site, according to Mayo Clinic. Others include allergic reactions and infections, particularly in men who have undiagnosed prostatitis, characterized by pain and swelling of the prostate gland, notes WebMD.

A prostate biopsy involves removing samples of prostate tissue for examination under a microscope. During a prostate biopsy, doctors specialized in the men’s sex organs and the urinary system insert a thin needle through the rectum or urethra to collect the samples, explain Mayo Clinic and WebMD.

Although this procedure allows doctors to determine the cause of abnormal levels of prostate-specific antigen and the possibility of cancer in the prostate glands, it comes with side effects. Bleeding into the urethra is common, can cause a need to urinate often, a blood blister and an inability to urinate. Some men may also develop infections after the procedure, requiring them to take antibiotics before the biopsy, notes WebMD.

When preparing for a prostate biopsy, it is important to stop taking medication such aspirin, warfarin and ibuprofen to reduce the risk of bleeding, says Mayo Clinic. Patients experiencing symptoms such as heavy bleeding, severe pain, blood in the urine and an inability to urinate within eight hours after the procedure should consult their doctors immediately, according to WebMD.