The Pullout Method: 5 Important Things You Should Know

roulette wheelLike sex but not the pill or condoms? You're in good company. It seems another birth control method has become all the rage lately, but there's nothing new about it: It's the pullout method. You know, coitus interruptus, the withdrawal method? This is when your partner pulls out before he ejaculates his baby-making seeds inside of you. (Sorry to get graphic, just want to be clear about what we're talking about here.) It's the birth control for women who are sick of messing with their hormones and hate using condoms -- or for couples who seem to have trouble planning ahead. And it's used by a surprisingly large number of women. So if it's so popular, it must be reliable, right? Well ... maybe we should learn a little more about it before we jump to that conclusion. Here's what you should know about the pullout method.

  1. Coitus interruptus does not protect you from STDs. Holy obvious, Batman, I just lost 12 brain cells writing that sentence. But I thought it important to mention, just in case.
  2. According to a recent survey of 2,220 women, nearly a third of women between 15 and 24 admitted they had used withdrawal for birth control at least once. 
  3. Of that 31 percent of puller-outers, 21 percent became pregnant unintentionally, compared with the 13 percent of women who unintentionally get knocked up using other forms of birth control. They are also 7.5 percent more likely to use emergency contraception like the morning after pill.
  4. When used perfectly, coitus interruptus has a failure rate of only 4 out of 100. Not bad! If you're perfect at it. The reality is, 18 percent of more "typical" couples who use the withdrawal method will get pregnant.
  5. The Mayo Clinic points out that the withdrawal method can fail even when your man pulls out in time because his timing may be off and there may be sperm in his pre-ejaculation fluid.

So, given all that, is the withdrawal method the right form a birth control for you? The answer is yes! IF: You and your partner are monogamous, disease-free, and totally okay with the possibility of getting pregnant. In other words, if you're "not not trying" to get pregnant, or maybe want the hands of fate to help you make a decision about having a baby, this is the bc for you. Enjoy!

Do you ever use the withdrawal method?


Image via Hakah Dahlstrom/Flickr

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