What is the withdrawal method?
The withdrawal method is a way of reducing the risk of pregnancy by withdrawing the penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation in order to prevent semen from entering the vagina.
There currently debate over the withdrawal method because even when ejaculation does not occur in the vagina, there may be some pre-cum transmitted prior to ejaculation. Pre-cum may contain a very small amount of sperm. There is a small chance that this small amount of sperm could lead to a pregnancy.
The withdrawal method takes some practice. It is not always easy to withdraw prior to ejaculation. It takes self-awareness and control but if used properly, the withdrawal method can reduce the risk of an unintended pregnancy. It can also be paired with another contraceptive method, for example, a barrier method, a hormonal method, or a spermicide in order to increase effectiveness.
How does the withdrawal method work?
During sex, when you feel as though you are getting close to ejaculation, pull your penis out of your partner’s vagina and ejaculate away from the vagina so that your sperm does not enter the vagina. If you have difficulty controlling your ejaculations, this method will be much less effective and may not be the best one for you.
How effective is the withdrawal method?
The effectiveness of the withdrawal method depends on how much control you have over your ejaculations and on your ability to ensure that no ejaculate comes into contact with the vagina.
With perfect use, withdrawal is 96% effective and typical use is 73% effective.
* The withdrawal method does not protect against sexually transmitted infections *
How do I use the withdrawal method?
• If you are thinking of using withdrawal, it is important to communicate with your partner ahead of time to ensure that you are both comfortable with this method and so that you both understand how you will work together to make the withdrawal method work for you.
• Make sure that you or your partner has practised controlling ejaculations before using it.
• Withdrawal involves a lot of will power. You may only choose to use withdrawal as a method of reducing the risk of an unintended pregnancy when you do not have any other contraception available.
What are the advantages of using the withdrawal method?
• It can make you more in touch with your own body and give you or your partner greater ejaculatory control
• It’s free
• It can be used as a method of risk reduction when there is no other contraception available
• It can be used in tandem with other contraceptives, thereby increasing its effectiveness
• You don’t have to carry contraceptives around with you
What are the disadvantages of using the withdrawal method?
• It’s not as effective as other birth control methods
• It requires a lot of self control
• It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections
• Pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) can potentially cause an unintended pregnancy or transmit sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
• It requires practice and dedication
How much does the withdrawal method cost?
Free if used on its own, although if you choose to use it with another form of contraception, there may be a cost.