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Does the Pull-out Method Really Work?

By HERWriter
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Will the Pull-out Method Really Work? rocketclips/Fotolia

If you have intercourse with someone who has a penis, perhaps you have heard of the “pull-out” or “withdrawal method.”This is a technique that some people believe will protect them against pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections by removing the penis before ejaculation.

Perhaps you were like me, as a young and idiotic sexually active person, and you perused some of the more reputable safer sex websites and noticed that the probability of becoming pregnant while using the pull-out method was really not THAT high.

Planned Parenthood explains that the statistical probability of becoming pregnant if withdrawal is practiced correctly every time is 4/100 and 27/100 when practiced incorrectly.[1]

Perhaps you are, like I was, one of those people who thought, “It won’t happen to me!” Or, “My partner knows exactly WHEN to remove his penis and will never make a mistake, miscalculate or forget!”

Well folks, it did happen to me. And while I trusted my partner, I was still faced with a difficult decision that could have been easily prevented by using a more effective, consistent form of birth control.

The situation forced me to think — why would I want to use anything that was LESS successful?

Would I buy a car that crashed in 27 out of every 100 times it was driven? Would I let a doctor who failed at brain surgery 27 percent of the time operate on me?

I hope it makes you think, too. While you’re considering, let’s break down the basics.

Semen, as you likely know, includes sperm — the squiggly tadpole-shaped DNA carriers that can create a zygote if they find a female egg to penetrate. (The first step in the process that causes females to become pregnant!)

Semen is also made up of other bodily fluids and organelles, including viruses, bacteria and parasites.

When semen finds its way to another person's mucous membranes — like the ones lining a vagina, anus or mouth — organelles are able to easily penetrate this membrane and access the bloodstream.

This means that in addition to causing pregnancy, semen can pass sexually transmitted infections from one person to another.

Read more in Being HER

1) “Withdrawal (Pull-Out Method.)” Planned Parenthood.Accessed February 26, 2016.

2) "What Is In Semen." New Health Guide. Accessed  February 25, 2016.  

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Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Yeah, it has worked fine for me too. I lower the probability even more by keeping him drained. Can't do anything shooting blanks.

July 4, 2017 - 8:17pm
EmpowHER Guest

My husband and I have used the pull out method for 7 years and so far it's worked.

June 5, 2017 - 4:28pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi my name is Bree and I have a comment about the pull out method my partner and I have been using that method for about roughly two years my thoughts on that if your partner really knows his body then it can be a successful form of birth control

April 7, 2016 - 7:49am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Lol. I guess you didn't read article and do not have common sense.
I'm sure it will work for you though. Just the way that method worked for all the teenage moms out there!

May 18, 2016 - 5:45am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.