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Planned Parenthood

Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)

Withdrawal at a Glance

  • Withdrawal is also called coitus interruptus or the "pull out method"
  • Something you can do during vaginal intercourse to prevent pregnancy
  • Safe, easy, and convenient

Is Withdrawal Right for Me?

 Here are some of the most common questions we hear people ask about withdrawal, or the pull out method.

What is pulling out (withdrawal)?

Pulling out (also known as withdrawal) is a way to prevent pregnancy by keeping semen away from the vagina. Withdrawal works best when you use another birth control method with it, like a condom.

What's the withdrawal method (pulling out)?

Pulling out is exactly what it sounds like: pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation (aka cumming). If semen (cum) gets in your vagina, you can get pregnant. So ejaculating away from a vulva or vagina prevents pregnancy. But you have to be sure to pull out before any semen comes out, every single time you have vaginal sex, in order for it to work.

Does pulling out protect against STDs?

No. While withdrawal can prevent pregnancy, it doesn't protect you against STDs. Some STDs, like genital warts and herpes, are spread through skin-to-skin contact. And STDs like chlamydia, syphilis, or gonorrhea can be carried in pre-cum. So if you're going to have sex, the best way to prevent STDs is by using condoms.

How can I make the pull out method work best?

The best way to make the pull out method effective is to use it with another type of birth control (like the ring, pill, or condoms). This way, if there's a slip up, you're still protected.

Condoms are a great method to use with pulling out. Not only will they prevent pregnancy in case you don't pull out in time, but condoms are the only way to stop the spread of STDs during sex. You can also practice withdrawal while using condoms to learn how to pull out in time.

For withdrawal to work as well as possible, you must do it right every single time. Always. So always pull out BEFORE ejaculation, and always make sure to ejaculate (cum) away from your partner's genitals. This is important because pregnancy can happen if even a little bit of semen gets in the vagina.

Accidents happen. So if you use withdrawal for birth control, think about keeping emergency contraception (aka the morning-after pill) in your medicine cabinet, just in case ejaculate (cum) gets in or near your vagina. Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy for up to 5 days after unprotected sex. The best way to make the pull out method effective is to use it with another type of birth control (like the ring, pill, or condoms). This way, if there's a slip up, you're still protected.

Condoms are a great method to use with pulling out. Not only will they prevent pregnancy in case you don't pull out in time, but condoms are the only way to stop the spread of STDs during sex. You can also practice withdrawal while using condoms to learn how to pull out in time.

For withdrawal to work as well as possible, you must do it right every single time. Always. So always pull out BEFORE ejaculation, and always make sure to ejaculate (cum) away from your partner's genitals. This is important because pregnancy can happen if even a little bit of semen gets in the vagina.

Accidents happen. So if you use withdrawal for birth control, think about keeping emergency contraception (aka the morning-after pill) in your medicine cabinet, just in case ejaculate (cum) gets in or near your vagina. Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy for up to 5 days after unprotected sex.

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Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)