Withdrawal Method: Effectiveness and Drawbacks

Withdrawal Method

Withdrawal method or the pull-out method is a birth-control technique widely used for thousands of years as a method of contraception. This method was used by an estimated thirty-eight million couples worldwide.

In the withdrawal method, the man pulls his penis out of his partner’s vagina before ejaculation. For the success of this method, man must need self-control and must know when he is about to ejaculate.

Withdrawal method
Withdrawal method

A well-experienced man can pull out his penis 2-3 seconds before ejaculation and rub it against the groin (junction of the torso with the legs) area or the navel (belly button) area of the female, until ejaculate. It is important that none of the semen touches or enters the vagina.

The withdrawal method is less problematic for married and long-term monogamous couples and a recent study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute shows that the withdrawal method is almost as effective as condoms use in preventing pregnancy.

Man’s pre-ejaculate fluid contains no sperms by itself, but there may be left over semen present in a man’s urethra from a previous ejaculation. Urination of men after ejaculation and before next vaginal penetration is helpful to wash away sperms in the urethra and researches show that urine significantly decreases sperm motility due to the changes in pH and osmolarity. It is important that man must wash his penis with soap and water before sex for a better success rate of this method.

Is withdrawal an effective birth control method?

Yes, it is a birth control method with a 4% perfect use failure rate. This means four women in 100 would get pregnant in one year. That’s similar to the effectiveness of the female condom. This 4% failure rate is due to the lack of expertness in this method.

Drawbacks of Coitus interruptus or Withdrawal Method

  • Withdrawal does not prevent transmission of STD’s, but this is not a significant factor for couples having monogamous relationships (individual has only one spouse at any one time).
  • Not suggested for teens and those having less control over sexuality.
  • Need expertness and self-control.