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 If my boyfriend and I use a male condom, spermicide, and withdrawal, what are my chances of getting pregnant? I am so worried of getting pregnant that I don’t want to have sex.

If you’re using a condom with spermicide and your boyfriend is pulling out before he ejaculates — known as withdrawal or the pull-out method — then the chance of getting pregnant is really, really unlikely. Even though spermicide and the pull-out method aren’t very effective forms of birth control by themselves, they are great ways to “back up” the condom. If you’re going to have vaginal sex and you don’t want to get pregnant, using a condom with another kind of birth control is a really smart idea — you can reduce the risk of infection as well as the risk of pregnancy. Figuring out what method(s) are right for you can take some time and consideration.

But sex shouldn’t make you feel stressed out or worried. Having sex means taking risks, and if your anxiety about pregnancy makes you feel like those risks aren’t worth it, then maybe having vaginal intercourse isn’t a good choice for you right now. (It’s okay to decide this even if you’ve already had it!)

You might decide that you and your boyfriend would prefer to have sex in other ways — ways that don’t involve vaginal intercourse, and therefore can’t carry the same risk of pregnancy.

Human error can be a factor in birth control effectiveness, so it’s a good idea to learn about each of these methods ahead of time to make sure you use them correctly. Click here to read about these and other birth control methods. 

Tags: birth control, condoms, spermicide, withdrawal