Withdrawal doesn’t cost a dime or require a visit to the doctor.
Withdrawal is the oldest form of birth control on the planet – sometimes called “the pull out method” or “coitus interruptus”. There’s not much to explain, really. The guy pulls out before he ejaculates. End of story. The key thing to remember is this: The guy has got to do it right—every single time—for withdrawal to be effective. Gals don’t have much control. If you lean toward this method because of concerns about hormones, the cost of other methods, or something else – we urge you to check out other methods, too. There are other non-hormonal options and changes in health coverage may make any method affordable for you.
Your partner has super control
Your man needs to be a pro in bed for withdrawal to work. Really. He’s got to be totally in tune with his body and able to predict when he’ll come.
You wouldn’t mind getting pregnant if it happened
The “typical use” failure rate for withdrawal is around 22%. That’s pretty darn high.
At least it’s cheap
Withdrawal is certainly better than nothing, and it has the distinct advantage of being completely free.
No prescription necessary
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.
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. This is not a foolproof plan and it can get derailed if you get lost in the moment or your partner miscalculates his timing.
Withdrawal is always better than nothing—but it’s pretty risky if you’re serious about not getting pregnant.
There are positive and negative things to say
about each and every method. And everyone’s different—so what you experience may not be the same as what your friend experiences.
- As inexpensive as it gets.
- No prescription necessary.
- 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
You might want to use a spermicide along with pulling out to make withdrawal more effective.
We’re here to get this method working better for you.
And if it still doesn’t feel right, we’ve got ideas for other methods. Just remember: If you change methods, make sure you’re protected while you switch.
I want something more effective, but still don’t want to visit the doctor.
Good to hear that you’re thinking about more reliable methods of birth control! The most effective methods are only available after a visit with the doctor, though, so we hope you’ll think about making an appointment. At the very least it’s good to be getting annual exams when you’re sexually active.
Try searching for low-cost health centers, if you don’t have insurance coverage. And while you’re there for the appointment, you might as well talk with your provider about your birth control options, right?
Still not working?
Even if you’re dead set against a visit to the doctor, we still want you to be covered. Give female condoms or male condoms a go—you can find them in drug stores, health centers, supermarkets, and even some bars and clubs.
You can also get emergency contraception without a prescription if you’re 17 or older. It’s great to have on-hand, but we don’t recommend you use it as a regular method. Think of it as a backup for those “whoops” moments.
I want something more effective and don’t mind a doctor visit.
Good for you for looking into more reliable methods of birth control!
Still not working?
If you don’t mind visiting your doctor for a prescription or procedure, you might want to check out one of these more effective methods: IUD, the implant, the shot, the ring, the patch, or the pill.
Real Stories (English)
Adrian uses condoms to protect himself against STIs when he needs to, but he doesn’t really like the feeling of them. So when he’s in a committed relationship he uses withdrawal a.k.a. the pullout method. Risky? You bet. It requires him to keep a clear head in the most heated of moments. The way he does it is to keep really, really focused on what the consequences of his actions could be. (Hello, fatherhood.)
Kesha, a busy mom of three girls (with hopes of someday adding a boy to the mix), uses withdrawal with her man. Once she finishes her masters degree, they’ll stop pulling out, but for now, “he just does it.” (Except when—uh-oh—he just doesn’t.)
After trying the pill and condoms, Jenny and her boyfriend decided that they would start practicing withdrawal instead. Money is a constant concern for Jenny, so she likes that they don’t have to pay anything to pull out. But she also know it only makes sense as birth control if they do it correctly. So far, so good. It helps that they’ve been together a long time and are very open with each other. She’s not afraid to remind him of what he needs to do. And he has no problem doing it. For them, it doesn’t interrupt the moment; it’s part of the moment. And the benefit of pulling out in time far outweighs the cost.