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Withdrawal is also known as coitus interruptus and “pulling out.” It is the act of removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy. Withdrawal requires a high-degree of motivation, commitment, and self-control. It is used during the time of intercourse when both partners are highly excited, making it easy for incorrect and inconsistent use.

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How Does Withdrawal Work?

Withdrawal is removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation. This reduces unintended pregnancy by limiting the amount of sperm present in semen that is placed in the female potentially fertilizing the egg, or ovum.

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How Effective Is Withdrawal?

The effectiveness of this method, even with perfect use, is uncertain because of the varying ages of users and their sexual responses. According to Hatcher et al published in Contraceptive Technology, average users of withdrawal protect from unintended pregnancy at 73% and perfect users 96%.

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How Do I Use The Withdrawal Method?

To use this method effectively, the male needs to understand his sexual response with his orgasm and release of semen. He needs to be able to recognize when he is about to ejaculate and be able to remove his penis from his partner’s vagina and away from her external genitals before ejaculation.

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What Are The Advantages Of The Withdrawal Method?

1. Involves males in preventing pregnancy

2. An inexpensive method that is readily available for use

3. A method that can be used at the same time as another method increasing protection from pregnancy (ex. Like pills, the patch, or the ring).

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What Are The Disadvantages Of The Withdrawal Method?

1. Requires a certain degree of control and knowledge of one's own sexual responses

2. Different sexual responses for different partners make this method better for couples who practice mutual monogamy

3. Varying reliability and results depending on partner's control and knowledge of their sexual responses makes the efficacy of this method difficult to determine and predict

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Does Withdrawal Prevent STDs Too?

Withdrawal can prevent unintended pregnancies but it offers NO PROTECTION against sexually transmitted diseases! If you are at risk for contracting STDs, you will need to take the necessary precautions to avoid them as well as pregnancy. To learn more about STDs and how to prevent them click HERE

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Intercourse: vaginal or anal sex
Sperm: male reproductive cell
Ovum: female reproductive cell, also called egg
Semen: thick, white fluid from penis during orgasm
Penis: external male genitals shaped like a shaft. Click Here to see an image of a penis.
Vagina: a muscular tube forming the passage from the vulva to the cervix. Click Here to see an image of a vagina.
Genitals: external sex organs on males and females
Ejaculation: release of semen from penis
Sexual Responses: set of physiological and emotional changes that lead to and follow orgasm
Mutual Monogamy: two people who are in an exclusive relationship with each other. Neither one of them has sexual contact with another person outside of their relationship.
Efficacy: effectiveness or ability to produce a desired effect