Since ancient times, when it was discovered that when a man ejaculated into a woman’s vagina, a pregnancy occurred, couples have been using the withdrawal method as a form of birth control.

All Natural

The withdrawal method works by a man pulling out his penis from a woman’s vagina just before he ejaculates during sex. This type of contraceptive is completely natural, has no extra costs involved, does not require the use of any chemicals and can be used when there is no other form of birth control available.

The Downside

Using the withdrawal method involves a lot of discipline on the man’s part. A man must be familiar enough with his body to know when he is about to ejaculate in order to pull out and ejaculate somewhere away from the vagina and vulva. A couple must also have a great deal of trust between each other to use this method effectively. Additionally, many couples find the sudden interruption of sex diminishes their enjoyment of the experience.


The withdrawal method of birth control has an average failure rate of 19%. Although it can be used effectively, it is not uncommon for an unplanned pregnancy to occur when a couple uses this type of contraception.

Moreover, it is important to note that men have what is known as “pre-ejaculatory fluid” which seeps out from the penis when a man has an erection. While this is mainly made up of lubricating fluid, it is possible for a few sperm to be present in this fluid along with certain sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Even if a man pulls out during sex, there is still a possibility that pregnancy may occur.

Unfortunately, withdrawal is the least likely to work for teens yet this is the age group that this type of birth control is most popular with. In general, the withdrawal method is not suitable for:

  • Men who ejaculate prematurely
  • Men who are not experienced enough to know when to pull out
  • Couples that do not have a high level of trust, self-control and experience
  • Teens

This form of birth control also offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases. To completely eliminate your risk of STDs and pregnancy, consider abstaining from sex.

For more information about the withdrawal method and other forms of birth control, check out our birth control forum.

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