The withdrawal method of contraception also known as “coitus interruptus” is the practice of completely removing the penis from the vagina and away from a woman’s external genitals before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy. The objective of this method of contraception — also called “pulling out” is to prevent sperm from entering the vagina.
Although the pull-out method is pretty straightforward, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
As the withdrawal method isn’t risk-free, you and your partner should have a discussion beforehand about any potential risks — including what to do if this method fails.
Using the withdrawal method for birth control requires self-control. If you’re the male, you need to know exactly when you’re about to ejaculate, and then you need to withdraw completely before ejaculating, every single time.
When as a man, you feel you’re about to ejaculate, you must withdraw your penis from the woman’s vagina. Always make sure to ejaculate (cum) away from your partner’s genitals. This is very essential because pregnancy can happen if just a small amount of semen gets in the vagina.
The man must also be willing and able to stop having sex and get his penis away from the woman’s vagina, right at the height of sexual pleasure.
If you’re the woman on this occasion, you need to trust that your partner will pull their penis out in time, every time.
Trust is an absolute must for the withdrawal method. There needs to exist a healthy relationship, where both you and your partner are equally committed to preventing pregnancy for withdrawal to occur correctly. Make sure that ejaculation occurs away from the woman’s genitals.
There’s a lot of responsibility involved in the withdrawal method, so make sure you and your partner totally agree before relying on withdrawal for birth control.
If your partner doesn’t usually cooperate with using birth control or doesn’t want to prevent pregnancy, they may not use the pull-out method correctly — which puts you at risk for unintended pregnancy.
If there are plans to have sex again within a short period of time, ensure that the man urinates and cleans off the tip of his penis first. This will help remove any remaining sperm from the previous ejaculation.
The withdrawal method doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STI) meaning that unless you’re in a committed relationship where all parties have been tested, it’s important to get tested each time you have unprotected sex.
Even if you are in a committed relationship, get tested before engaging in unprotected sex, regardless of your sexual history but if you’re not in a committed relationship, it’s important to practice safe sex and get tested before and after each sexual partner.
THOSE THAT CAN USE IT
Partners who choose this method are majorly people who will not mind a surprise pregnancy – if it happens or they might not want to use other types of birth control for religious, cultural, or philosophical reasons.
Other times such people might not be engaging in sex very often, they might want a free and convenient method, and also if they seek a mode of contraception that doesn’t involve any hormones or other chemicals.
For people who desire contraception with no side effects or health risks for their male or female counterparts then they will opt for the withdrawal method or if they don’t need to see a doctor or get a prescription then they will go with the pull-out method.
THOSE THAT CAN’T USE
The withdrawal method is not a good way to prevent pregnancy for people who experience premature ejaculation. Premature ejaculation is when you ejaculate (cum) before you’re ready or realize it’s going to happen. It’s really common, especially for younger people but it, therefore, means it can be hard for you to use the withdrawal method.
If you’re sexually inexperienced or is your first time having sex, the withdrawal method is not advisable for you because you will not know when you will ejaculate so you will not be able to withdraw on time.
Withdrawal is also not the best method if you can’t predict when, exactly, you’re going to ejaculate, if you’re sexually inexperienced, or if you don’t trust yourself to pull out at the height of sexual pleasure.
The withdrawal method of contraception can help prevent pregnancy. Among various benefits, the withdrawal method:
- Is free and readily available
- Has no side effects
- Doesn’t require a fitting or prescription
- When other methods are contraindicated by philosophical, cultural or religious sentiment.
- Allergy towards hormones or other chemical substances in contraceptives
Some couples choose to use the withdrawal method because they don’t want to use other contraceptive methods.
The withdrawal method works about 78% of the time, which means that over a year of using this method, 22 out of 100 women — about 1 in 5 — would get pregnant. By comparison, male condoms are 98% effective when used correctly every time.
Even then, the withdrawal method isn’t an especially effective form of birth control. Sperm may enter the vagina if withdrawal isn’t properly timed or if pre-ejaculation fluid contains sperm.
Using the withdrawal or “pull-out” method does not prevent pregnancy and although it does not pose any direct risks, it doesn’t offer protection from sexually transmitted infections. Many partners albeit feel that the withdrawal method disrupts sexual pleasure.
It is not as effective at preventing pregnancy as other forms of birth control. Estimates opine that one in five couples who practice the withdrawal method for one year will get pregnant.
HOW TO IMPROVE WITHDRAWAL METHOD
To the efficacy of the withdrawal method, it can be supplemented with other things either before or during the sexual act.
How to make it more effective in the moment
Using over-the-counter (OTC) spermicide should be applied an hour before sex. When used correctly, it can immobilize and kill sperm. This helps prevent fertilization.
Another OTC option is a birth control sponge which also utilizes spermicide to prevent pregnancy. The sponge can be used for up to 24 hours, so you can insert it in advance or leave it in for multiple sessions.
How to make it more effective in advance
Wearing a condom protects against pregnancy and STIs, it will allow you to practice the pull-out method without any risk. This means the ejaculating partner can work on ascertaining the timing without worrying about unwanted pregnancy.
The female partner can also use the fertility awareness method to help prevent pregnancy. This means tracking when fertility occurs and avoiding the pull-out method, or sex in general, during their fertile window.
Withdrawal can also be a great supplemental method as it can use it along with condoms, spermicide, or hormonal birth control. If the pull-out method fails, using emergency contraception can help prevent unwanted pregnancy.
For withdrawal to work as well as possible, you must do it right every single time. Accidents happen therefore if you use withdrawal for birth control, think about keeping emergency contraception (the morning-after pill) close by, just in case ejaculate (cum) gets in or near your vagina.