How Effective Is Withdrawal?
Effectiveness is an important and common concern when choosing a birth control method. Like all birth control methods, the pull out method is much more effective when you do it correctly.
- Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, 4 will become pregnant each year if they always do it correctly.
- Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, 27 will become pregnant each year if they don't always do it correctly.
Couples who have great self-control, experience, and trust may use the pull out method more effectively. Men who use the pull out method must be able to know when they are reaching the point in sexual excitement when ejaculation can no longer be stopped or postponed. If you cannot predict this moment accurately, withdrawal will not be as effective.
Even if a man pulls out in time, pregnancy can still happen. Some experts believe that pre-ejaculate, or pre-cum, can pick up enough sperm left in the urethra from a previous ejaculation to cause pregnancy. If a man urinates between ejaculations before having sex again, it will help clear the urethra of sperm and may increase the effectiveness of withdrawal.
Pregnancy is also possible if semen or pre-ejaculate is spilled on the vulva.
Keep in mind that the withdrawal method does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Use a latex condom or female condom to reduce the risk of infection.