Urologists Take Note – The Real Truth About A Prostate Biopsy!

At first I thought I was just a “wimp.” At the urging of my family doctor I went to a urologist for a prostate check. She (my family doctor) said my PSA was a bit high for my age – 4.58 PSA and I was 47 years old.

Now let me state…I didn’t even know what a PSA was until she forced the test when I was having routine blood work done. Something I hated as I had a fear of needles.

The urologist did the “bend over boy” routine finding nothing with his “DRE” – Digital Rectal Exam. Now I have to be honest, that wasn’t the most exciting exam, but all in all it didn’t cause me any great pain. But, as the urologist said, “Better to be safe than sorry. Let’s schedule you for a biopsy.”

Now let me be frank…I had no clue what to expect other than what my doctor told me. He said there wouldistock_000002146611small be some minor discomfort but mostly I would be annoyed by the sound of the instrument when the sample was taken. “Other than that,” he commented, “most men don’t really feel much.” I do recall asking if there was pain, and again, my urologist stated, “Most men feel very little. Nothing to be concerned with.”

I have been interviewing men from all around the English speaking world who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. With few exceptions everyone reports the same thing. The damn biopsy hurts! When they report this, I ask a follow up question: “Did you tell you doctor this?” Their response – “Well, no, I just took it like a man.”


In Dr. Sheldon Marks book, “Prostate and Cancer” he describes the biopsy as follows:

In a biopsy of the prostate, multiple tiny sliver-like ppeces of tissue are obtained for microscopic analysis to see if cancer is present. These pieces are obtained through a long but very thin needle, specially designed to open inside the prostate, take the sample and then close.

For most men, biopsies can be done as an outpatient office procedure without anesthesia and with usually only temporary discomfort. Now we can get a good representative sampling of the entire gland with minimal trauma to the gland.

He is right…it is done outpatient most of the time. Where I beg to differ is on the pain issue. Thus far, well over 70% of the men I have talked with have reported that their urologist misled them when it came to what to expect and the pain. All but two men interviewed would, in retrospect, have desired pain medication before the biopsy. One man reported that had he known it would have hurt as bad as it did…he would never had submitted to the test. (Although the test might have saved his life).

Several men stated that they felt that ALL UROLOGISTS should have a biopsy on their prostate so that they would know exactly what their patient was going through. In that way, the urologist might be willing to volunteer provide some local anesthesia to reduce the pain and trauma.

Urologists…do you get the picture. What is reported to you is inaccurate (men don’t want to admit to their pain) and it (the biopsy) freekin…hurts – SO GIVE US SOMETHING TO TAKE THE EDGE OFF.

WHAT ABOUT AFTER THE BIOPSY? For most men normal functions – exercise, work, activity will all resume as normal either the next day or day after that. Now, when I say normal functions…that also includes sex.

I’ve scoured the Internet and seldom do I see PRACTICAL ADVICE that men need to know – so here’s some. A few days after your biopsy you may engage in sexual activity. Be prepared! When you achieve orgasm your ejaculation will be bloody. Guys I don’t mean a trace of blood, but bright red bloody. And, gentlemen, if you are unprepared for that, it can cause alarm. That alarm may be to you and/or to your partner. Nothing can change the mood of an intimate evening of sexual play than to achieve an orgasm and find that you look like you just hemorrhaged.

GUYS… The biopsy is necessary so in no way take this entry as anything other than solid information. Have it done, and more than once if necessary. My personal advice is – request pain medication.

Chuck Gallagher is a business ethics and fraud prevention speaker and author. Having been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, he spends time working to help educate men and their families about the practical aspects of Prostate Cancer and how to survive.

9 Responses to Urologists Take Note – The Real Truth About A Prostate Biopsy!

  1. don says:

    Good article; I agree that a biopsy requires a local anesthetic.

    Also, I had blood for *over* a week — pretty much ALL blood for several days. I *had* to have an orgasm within 24 hrs of biopsy, and several times over the next few days, the internal pressure of the bleeding was so strong.

    Doctor didn’t tell me to expect that, just “you’ll have some blood” for the next week.

  2. […] Urologists Take Note – The Real Truth About A Prostate Biopsy! […]

  3. Ed Kozlowski says:

    I was lucky, my Urologist gave me a local and I felt very little

  4. I am 67 had prostate biopsy and had local anesthic . i felt very mild discomfort. It felt like a rubber band snapping against your finger. Very little bleeding from rectum., and no blood in urine for the first 2 days. Then I did some activity and some minor blood appeared in my urine. I drank a lot of water and it would go away. It was no worse then a dental visit.

  5. Ed Kozlowski says:

    When I had my biopsy, I felt very little discomfort and certainly no pain. It was under a local. My wife, who is a nurse, was surprised as she told me many men feel a great deal of pain. I must have had a good doctor.

  6. Harry says:

    I am 66 and recently had a prostate biopsy at a VA hospital. The Dr. gave me a local on each side of prostate (and that did hurt some) but a few minutes later I felt nothing and the biopsy went okay. The Dr. told me if I did feel any pain to tell him and he would stop and numb me up some more. Glad I had it done . . . the pathologist found that I do have prostate cancer, so having the biopsy will probably help save my life. Don’t procrastinate! If your Dr. thinks you should have a biopsy get it done, just ensure they give you a local before they start clipping.

  7. […] Urologists Take Note – The Real Truth About A Prostate Biopsy! […]

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    Urologists Take Note – The Real Truth About A Prostate Biopsy! | Prostate Cancer Solutions

  9. Wes says:

    Thank you for the article. I just had my second biopsy today and trust me when I tell you the pain was pretty bad. I was put to sleep (thankfully) both times and this time I spent four hours in outpatient recovery dealing with pain management. I have one of the best urologists in my region and still needed pain meds, came home with pain meds, and was instructed to wait no less than three days to resume normal activity (exercising, etc.). After my last biopsy, my ejaculate was bloody for three weeks. I’m sure everybody’s experience is different but I would highly recommend pain medication.

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