Island Sexual Health Society Be informed, not surprised!

Withdrawal

Withdrawal is also known as:

  • pulling out
  • coitus interruptus

Withdrawal is when the penis is withdrawn from their partner’s body before  ejaculation occurs. The most important things to know about this method is that it isn’t very reliable!

Every erect penis has a small amount of pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) fluid on the top. It is possible that this pre-ejaculate fluid may contain sperm (that it picks up along the urethra way out) and therefore may be able to cause pregnancy if sperm was to fertilize an ovum. The pre-ejaculate can also transmit sexually transmitted infections, so there is a risk of infections and pregnancy even without complete ejaculation.

The most challenging aspect of withdrawal is that it requires a lot of self knowledge and self-control , because it can be difficult to predict ejaculation for some people or also difficult to withdraw before ejaculation occurs.

The withdrawal method is only about 73% effective with typical use so people who really want to avoid a pregnancy would be better advised to use another method of birth control. Some people may choose to pair this with another method such as condoms, the pill, the patch, the ring or IUD; therefore decreasing the risk of pregnancy further.