What is it?

Also known as withdrawal, the pull-out technique is a standout amongst the most fundamental types of birth control, primarily used during penile-vaginal intercourse.

To use this technique, the penis must be withdrawn from the vagina before ejaculation to counteract semen entering the vagina, enabling you to avoid pregnancy without relying on some other type of anti-conception medication.


Is it as easy as it sounds?

Although the pull-out method is pretty straightforward, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Communication is crucial:

The pull-out method isn’t risk-free, which means you and your partner ought to have a discussion beforehand about any potential risks — including what to do if this method fails.

You have to nail your timing:

Contrary to popular belief, research indicates that pre-cum can contain sperm. This implies there’s still a slight risk of pregnancy regardless of whether withdrawal happens before discharge.

You or your accomplice must know when you’re going to pre-cum, otherwise the pull-out technique won’t be viable.


Regular STI testing is an unquestionable requirement:

The pull-out method doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STI).

This implies — unless you’re in a committed relationship where all parties have been tested — it’s imperative to get tested each time you have unprotected sex.

If you’re not in a committed relationship, it’s important to rehearse safe sex and get tested before and after each sexual partner.


How effective is it?

Even with immaculate use, the pull-out method isn’t 100 percent effective.

Sources say that 22 percent people using the pull-out method become pregnant. This isn’t on the grounds that the pull-out method doesn’t work, but since it tends to be hard to control different variables included.


What can make it ineffective?

Various things can make the pull-out method ineffectual.

Pre-cum may contain sperm, which implies that — regardless of whether you do effectively pull out each and every time — there’s as yet a shot of pregnancy.

Plus, ejaculation timing isn’t always easy to foresee. Even someone with good timing can slip up — and it only takes once to potentially cause pregnancy.


Is there anything I can do to make it more effective?

The pull-out method isn’t perfect, but there are ways you can make it more effective over time.


How to make it more effective in the moment?

Use spermicide: The OTC chemical should be applied at least an hour before the intercourse. When used correctly, it can immobilize and kill sperm. This helps prevent fertilization.


How to make it more effective in advance?

Practice with a condom: Not only does wearing a condom protect against pregnancy and STIs, it enables you to practice the pull-out method without any risk. This means the ejaculating partner can take a shot at nailing the timing without agonizing about undesirable pregnancy.

Use it as a secondary — not primary — birth control method: Withdrawal can also be a great supplemental method. You can use it along with condoms, spermicide, or hormonal anti-conception medication — regardless of the time of month— to reduce pregnancy risk.

Consider keeping emergency contraception on hand. If the method fails, emergency contraception can help prevent undesirable pregnancy.


What if the method fails?

Aside from abstinence, no birth control method is perfect.

Here’s what could happen if the pull-out method fails:

Pregnancy: The girl could get pregnant each and every time ejaculation occurs during sex.  If you suspect pregnancy, take a pregnancy test after your missed period.

STI’s: The pull-out method doesn’t protect against STIs. If you suspect that you may have been exposed to an STI, talk to a doctor or other healthcare provider.


Are there any advantages?

Although some people may disregard the pull-out method, it’s a great option for anyone looking for accessible and non-hormonal birth control.

Some of the benefits are as follows:

It’s free: Not everyone can afford other forms of birth control, which means the pull-out method is accessible to everyone.

It doesn’t require a prescription: You don’t have to pick up anything from the store or see a doctor to get a prescription. Another perk? You don’t have to worry about insurance coverage or making an appointment.

It’s convenient: The pull-out method can be used spontaneously, which makes it an attractive option if you aren’t able to use your regular form of birth control.

It doesn’t have any side effects: Many forms of birth control can cause headaches, mood changes, and other unwanted side effects. The pull-out method eliminates those completely!

It can enhance the efficacy of other birth control methods: Not everyone feels comfortable relying on a single form of birth control.

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