How soon can I bike after a biopsy?

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

I am an avid bicyclist, and I am having a prostate biopsy in a few weeks. How long do I need to wait after the biopsy before I can start biking again?

William DeWolf, M.D., Chief of the Division of Urology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, says:

Although most men can return to work and resume most normal activities the same day, I recommend that patients avoid vigorous exercise and weight lifting for several days to be sure that any rectal or urinary bleeding has stopped. As for activities that put pressure on the prostate, such as riding a horse, motorcycle, or bicycle, I’d hold off for about one to four weeks, depending on any history of prostatitis and the amount of exercise you want to do.

My recommendation may be overly cautious. A lot depends on what kind of riding you do. Do you ride a bike with a hard, narrow seat or a large, padded one? Will you travel over bumpy or rugged terrain? Or will you be pedaling across flat, even pavement? How long will you be on the bike? It also depends a bit on how you are feeling. If you have any trouble urinating or develop an infection, you should wait until after those problems are resolved before riding.

When you feel up to biking again, start slowly. Limit the amount of time you spend on the bike and stick to an easy route. In the meantime, pedaling a recumbent bicycle at your local gym can help keep you fit. And if you experience any pain or bleeding after you resume your riding regimen, contact your doctor.

Originally published July 1, 2008; last reviewed March 2, 2011.

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