Learn About Birth Control

Withdrawal (pull out) method

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Basic Info & FAQs

Withdrawal is the oldest form of birth control on the planet. There’s not much to explain, really. The guy pulls out before he ejaculates. End of story. Some people call withdrawal the “pull out method.” Or you may hear people call it “coitus interruptus.” The key thing to remember is this: You’ve got to do it right—every single time—for withdrawal to be effective. And how many guys do you know with that kind of total control?

You wouldn’t mind getting pregnant

The “typical use” failure rate for withdrawal is around 22%. That’s pretty darn high. So if getting pregnant would be disastrous for you, think about another method.

Your partner has super control

Your partner needs to be a pro in bed for withdrawal to work. Really. Withdrawal requires extreme body awareness and the ability to predict ejaculation (and pull-out before it happens).

You can use it with another method

You can use withdrawal to double-up with another method.

At least it’s cheap

Withdrawal is certainly better than nothing, and it has the distinct advantage of being completely free.

No prescription necessary

Enough said, eh?

What does it cost?

Withdrawal is a method that is totally free, but risky. While you won’t have to spend anything to use it, you have to do it correctly every single time for it to work.

How do I use it?

The withdrawal method is totally dependent on your partner and his self-control. He’s got to make sure he pulls out before he ejaculates AND he’s got to keep his semen away from your vulva when he does. So it’s really important that your partner understands his own sexual response patterns.

But let’s be real for a minute. What if he’s had a few drinks? Or you’re both just totally lost in the moment? Or what if he miscalculates his, uh, excitement?

Withdrawal is always better than nothing—but it’s pretty darn risky if you’re serious about not getting pregnant.

The good & the bad

The Positive

  • As inexpensive as it gets
  • No prescription necessary.

The Negative

  • The only side effect of withdrawal is very real possibility of having a baby before you’re ready
  • Difficult to perform perfectly every single time
  • Hard to remember to do if you’re drunk

You might want to use a spermicide along with pulling out to make withdrawal more effective.