Center for Young Women's Health

Withdrawal

 

What is withdrawal?

Withdrawal (also called "pull out" method" is when the male withdraws his penis completely from the woman's vagina before he ejaculates (releases many sperm all at once).

 

Withdrawal is a risky method of contraception because it's not easy to prevent ejaculation in the vagina- it takes a lot of practice and a great deal of self-control. Even if a male can tell when he is about to ejaculate or "come", the fluid that is released (from the penis) before ejaculation can contain sperm from a previous ejaculation.

 

Out of 100 women using withdrawal
Typical use: 27 women become pregnant 22 Pregnant Women
Perfect use: 4 women become pregnant 4 Pregnant Women

Does the withdrawal method work?

If men use the withdrawal method every time they have sexual intercourse and do it perfectly every time, it is possible to be 96% effective in preventing pregnancy. This means that if 100 women use the withdrawal method all the time and always do it perfectly (which is almost impossible), 4 women will become pregnant in a year.

 

The problem with the withdrawal method is: perfect use hardly ever happens. So the withdrawal method is really only 73% effective. This means that if 100 typical women use the withdrawal method, at least 27 women will become pregnant in a year.

 

Withdrawal does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.

 

Written and reviewed by the CYWH Staff at Boston Children's Hospital

 

Updated: 9/24/2012

 

Related Guides:

Pregnancy

Did you know that about 800,000 teen girls become pregnant in the United States each year, and more than 80% of these pregnancies are unplanned?...

 

Making Healthy Sexual Decisions

As a young adult, it's normal to think about sex, have sexual feelings, and have a desire to learn more about your own body. Deciding to have a sexual relationship is an important decision since it involves both your body and your emotions...

Search Our Site
CYWH Logo CYWH
Center for Young Women's Health Center for Young Women's Health Boston Children's Hospital Boston Children's Hospital
Photo of Peer Leaders Meet Our Peers
15 Years!