About Your Prostate Biopsy With Ultrasound

Time to Read: About 4 minutes

This information will help you get ready for your prostate biopsy with ultrasound. It will also help you know what to expect after your biopsy.

About your prostate

Your prostate is a small, firm gland about the size of a walnut. It’s in front of your rectum, below your bladder (see Figure 1). Your prostate works with other glands in your body to make semen. It surrounds your urethra, the tube that drains urine (pee) from your bladder.

Figure 1. Your prostate and surrounding organs

Figure 1. Your prostate and surrounding organs

About your prostate biopsy

A prostate biopsy is a procedure to collect small pieces of tissue from your prostate. An ultrasound is an imaging scan that uses sound waves to make pictures of the inside of your body. Your healthcare provider will use ultrasound imaging during your biopsy to help them take tissue from the right areas of your prostate.

After your biopsy, the pieces of tissue will be looked at under a microscope to check for abnormal cells.

Getting ready for your biopsy

Talk with your healthcare provider

Tell your healthcare provider if you:

  • Take anticoagulants (blood thinners). These are medications that affect the way your blood clots.
  • Take steroids, such as prednisone (Deltasone®).
  • Take any other medications, including vitamin E, multivitamins, herbal remedies, or any other dietary supplements or home remedies.
  • Have taken any antibiotics in the past 3 months.

Buy your supplies

Buy the following supplies before your biopsy:

  • 1 saline enema (such as a Fleet® saline enema). You can buy this at your local pharmacy without a prescription.
  • Oral antibiotic (antibiotic that you swallow), if your healthcare provider tells you to. If you’re taking an oral antibiotic, your healthcare provider will give you a prescription. Read the “Antibiotics” section for more information.

Plan how you’re getting home

Some people feel lightheaded after their biopsy. It’s best to have someone take you home afterward. They can help you if needed.

5 to 7 days before your biopsy

Stop taking certain medications

You may need to stop taking some of your medications before your biopsy. Examples include anticoagulants, aspirin, medications that contain aspirin, multivitamins, and vitamin E. Talk with your healthcare provider about which medications are safe for you to stop taking. Follow their instructions.

For information about medications that contain aspirin and vitamin E, read How To Check if a Medicine or Supplement Has Aspirin, Other NSAIDs, Vitamin E, or Fish Oil.

2 days before your biopsy

Stop taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil® and Motrin®) and naproxen (Aleve®), can cause bleeding. Stop taking them 2 days before your procedure. If your healthcare provider gives you other instructions, follow those instead.

To learn more, read How To Check if a Medicine or Supplement Has Aspirin, Other NSAIDs, Vitamin E, or Fish Oil.

The day of your biopsy

  • Give yourself a saline enema the morning of your biopsy. Follow the instructions on the box.
  • Eat and drink like you usually do. If you don’t eat before your biopsy, it might be delayed.

Take your antibiotics

You will need to take an antibiotic to prevent infection from the biopsy. Your healthcare provider will tell you which antibiotic you will take. They will also give you a prescription. You will take one of the antibiotics listed below.

  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro®) 500 mg (2 tablets)
    • Take 1 tablet 2 hours before your biopsy.
    • Take 1 tablet 12 hours later.
  • Cefixime (Suprax®) 400 mg (1 tablet)
    • Take 1 tablet 2 hours before your biopsy.
  • Cefuroxime (Ceftin®) 500 mg (2 tablets)
    • Take 1 tablet 2 hours before your biopsy.
    • Take 1 tablet 12 hours later.
  • Sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (Bactrim®) 500mg (2 tablets)
    • Take 1 tablet 2 hours before your biopsy.
    • Take 1 tablet 12 hours later.

Intravenous (IV) antibiotics

Your healthcare provider might decide you need IV antibiotics instead of oral antibiotics. If they do, you will get the IV medication through a vein in your arm 1 hour before your biopsy.

During your biopsy

First, your healthcare provider will gently insert a probe into your rectum. They will put an anesthetic (numbing) lubricant on it to help it slide in easily. Once the probe is in place, they will also give you an anesthetic injection (shot) near your prostate to numb the biopsy site.

The probe uses ultrasound to make images of your prostate. It also has a high-speed biopsy gun with a small, thin needle. This will be used to take each biopsy sample. Your healthcare provider may take up to 18 biopsy samples. You can expect to be in the biopsy room for 20 to 30 minutes.

After your biopsy

It’s normal to have some soreness or discomfort after your biopsy, but most people don’t have pain. If you feel sore, you can take acetaminophen (Tylenol®). If the acetaminophen doesn’t help, call your doctor’s office.

For 3 days after your biopsy, try to drink double the amount of liquids that you usually drink. This will help to flush out your bladder, prevent infection, and minimize the amount of blood in your urine. It will also help soften your bowel movements (poop), which helps keep your rectum from getting irritated.

Temporary effects on your bowel movements, urine, and semen

  • You might see blood in your bowel movements. You might also have a small amount of bleeding from your rectum. These can happen right after your biopsy or for the next few days when you have a bowel movement.
  • You might see blood in your urine for 1 to 2 weeks after your biopsy. This bleeding might come and go.
  • Your semen might look rust-colored for up to 12 weeks after your biopsy. This is because small amounts of blood might be in it.


  • Tell your nurse if you’ll be more than 2 hours away from MSK during the first 24 hours after your biopsy. If you have any problems after your biopsy, such as fever or bleeding, you might have to go to MSK’s Urgent Care Center (UCC).
  • Don’t have sex for 3 days after your biopsy.
  • For the next 5 days after your biopsy, don’t do any sports, work out in a gym, ride a bicycle, or lift any objects heavier than 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms).

Test results

Your test results will be ready 5 to 7 days after your biopsy. Your healthcare provider will contact you and explain the results to you. You can also ask for a copy of your results.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these things.

  • A fever of 101 °F (38.3 °C) or higher.
  • Heavy bleeding out of your rectum.
  • Bleeding out of your rectum that will not stop.
  • Can’t urinate.
  • Bright red blood or large clots in your urine.
  • Shaking chills.
  • Dizziness.
  • Any other problems, questions, or concerns.

Last Updated

Friday, March 10, 2023

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