The withdrawal method of birth control (also known as "coitus interruptus" or "pulling out") requires that the man withdraw his penis, during sex, from the vagina when he feels he is about to ejaculate. The man ejaculates outside the vagina and must be very careful that semen does not spill onto the vulva or the females’ external sex organs.
In a recent column at Bedsider.org, Tina Raine-Bennett, MD, MPH, said, "withdrawal is birth control kung fu—it requires self-knowledge, serious discipline, and lots of practice."
According to the Planned Parenthood website, the biggest disadvantage of using the withdrawal method is the risk of using withdrawal incorrectly.
It is best to practice the birth control withdrawal method with a partner you trust, who has self-control and experience.
The withdrawal method is NOT for the following:
• Men who ejaculate prematurely
• Men who don't know when to pull out
The method is also not recommended for teens and those who are not sexually inexperienced since it takes a great deal of experience before a man can be sure to know when he's going to ejaculate.
The benefits of the withdrawal method are that it is free, safe, simple and convenient. It can be used when no other birth control method is available.
However, if you are not trying to become pregnant, you should consider combining this method with other forms of birth control like a diaphragm, condom, female condom, etc. Other benefits of the withdrawal method include:
• No side effects
• No prescription is necessary
Now, the big question: What is the effectiveness of the withdrawal method? According to a recent study published in Reuters, "Many young women who use the withdrawal method tend to have more unintended pregnancies than other women."
The study examined a survey done by more than 2,000 women from ages 15-24 and found that more than 31 percent had used the withdrawal method over the last two years. Of those women, 21 percent reported having an unintended pregnancy.