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What are the Chances of Pregnancy with the "Pull-Out" Method?

Published: August 02, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
My boyfriend always uses the pull-out method , and i am just wondering how much are the chances of me getting pregnant in a year.
Signed: What are the Chances of Pregnancy with the "Pull-Out" Method?

Dear What are the Chances of Pregnancy with the "Pull-Out" Method?,

Withdrawal, also known as the pull-out method, is a form of birth control where a man pulls his penis out of the vagina prior to ejaculation. Anywhere from 4-27 women out of 100 will become pregnant each year from using the withdrawal method as birth control.

This method of birth control is not recommended for teens and young adults. Doctors generally recommend that teens and young adults use condoms each and every time they have sex, as well as a back-up method of birth control such as the pill or birth control shot.

 

Risks of using the withdrawal method:

According to Planned Parenthood:

There are a few risks to using withdrawal as your only form of birth control. The biggest disadvantage is the risk of using withdrawal incorrectly.

Withdrawal

  • requires great self-control, experience, and trust
  • is not for men who ejaculate prematurely
  • is not for men who don't know when to pull out
  • is not recommended for teens and sexually inexperienced men because it takes lots of experience before a man can be sure to know when he's going to ejaculate.

 

Effectiveness of the withdrawal method:

According to Planned Parenthood:

Effectiveness is an important and common concern when choosing a birth control method. Like all birth control methods, the pull out method is much more effective when you do it correctly.

  • Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, 4 will become pregnant each year if they always do it correctly.
  • Of every 100 women whose partners use withdrawal, 27 will become pregnant each year if they don't always do it correctly.

 

Couples who have great self-control, experience, and trust may use the pull out method more effectively. Men who use the pull out method must be able to know when they are reaching the point in sexual excitement when ejaculation can no longer be stopped or postponed. If you cannot predict this moment accurately, withdrawal will not be as effective.

Even if a man pulls out in time, pregnancy can still happen. Some experts believe that pre-ejaculate, or pre-cum, can pick up enough sperm left in the urethra from a previous ejaculation to cause pregnancy. If a man urinates between ejaculations before having sex again, it will help clear the urethra of sperm and may increase the effectiveness of withdrawal.    

Pregnancy is also possible if semen or pre-ejaculate is spilled on the vulva.

Keep in mind that the withdrawal method does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases. Use a latex condom or female condom to reduce the risk of infection.

 

What to do:

TeenHealthFX recommends that you meet with your primary care physician, gynecologist or adolescent medicine specialist so you can find out the best methods of birth control for you so you are no longer putting yourself at risk for unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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