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Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

 
FAQ

Birth Control Options

 

Withdrawal

What is it?

Withdrawal (also known as "pulling out") is the removal of the man's penis from a woman's vagina before ejaculation.



How does it work?

Withdrawal can reduce the chance of conception by depositing the sperm outside of the vagina. However, withdrawal is not a reliable or effective method of birth control. Pre-ejaculate lubricating fluid, which may contain sperm, can be left in the vagina and could therefore cause a pregnancy.



How effective is it in preventing pregnancy?


If…

  • a man who has recently ejaculated urinates to get rid of any leftover sperm before penetration, and
  • the tip of the penis is wiped dry of lubricating fluid before penetration, and
  • the penis is withdrawn before ejaculation, and
  • ejaculation occurs outside the vagina and well away from the vaginal opening

Then… withdrawal has an approximately 80-90% effectiveness rate.
But… control is difficult. With typical use of this method, there is a 19% failure rate.



What are the advantages?

  • Better than using no method of birth control




What are the disadvantages?

  • Not very effective because there can be sperm present in the pre-ejaculate fluid
  • Requires practice and self-control
  • Both partners must be in agreement with using this method
  • When you rely on withdrawal as your only method of birth control, there is a good chance of having an unplanned pregnancy. Unless you are prepared to deal with this possibility, it is highly recommended that you put off sex until some other form of birth control can be obtained.
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections



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