The withdrawal method, or Coitus Interruptus, is a common method that many young couples use to avoid pregnancy. The Family Planning Association estimates that 4% of couples use the withdrawal method regularly, and many more use it when they lose control in the moment.
What is it?
Instead of using another, more reliable method of contraception, the withdrawal method is when the man pulls out before ejaculation. This method relies on the man having the will-power to withdraw early, and is unreliable. This unreliability means that it is better than nothing for spontaneous sex where no other method of contraception is available.
How reliable is it?
Using this method every time you have sex is better than nothing if you want to avoid pregnancy, but couples who rely on it can still end up with unwanted pregnancies. Not only is there still a risk of pregnancy, but the withdrawal method does not give the couple any protection against sexually transmitted infections.
If you find that you use the withdrawal method as a form of contraception, it is important that the man urinates between sessions as well as washes himself carefully to remove any traces of seminal fluid or sperm. As well as that, the woman will also need to wash herself, especially if the man ejaculated on her.
Does it Work?
Coitus interruptus is better than not using any method of contraception, but most medical professionals would not recommend it. This is for these reasons:
- It is hard to withdraw at the right time
- Men can leak sperm before they ejaculate and some may be present
- No protection against infections
Not only that, it can affect the couple’s enjoyment of sex because the need to withdraw is always at the back of the mind. The woman might also become frustrated as the man does not achieve orgasm inside her.
Who is it best for?
Even with all the problems associated with this method of contraception, it is ideal for some couples such as those who do not mind a pregnancy or who cannot use any alternative form of contraception. They might not have ready access to alternative contraception or choose not to use it on religious grounds.
Even with the problems and higher risk of pregnancy, it is more successful than not using any method of contraception.
Some men, and women, like the view that they get when the man pulls out and ejaculates on the women. This can be over her breasts, buttocks, belly or any other part of her body. As long as you both enjoy it then this is fine, otherwise the man might be better aiming to miss. Some couples might like to include oral sex at the end to finish the man off.
Some sexual positions are more suitable for the withdrawal method than others. Any position where it is easy for the man to pull out is great for this method of contraception. Some of the favourite positions include:
- Doggy style
In fact, any position where the man is able to pull out at the right time is suitable. Some positions are completely unsuitable though, and you should try to avoid any where the woman is on top. If the man is pinned underneath the woman it makes it very difficult to stop when you need to.
Modern medical science has lead to a number of contraceptive breakthroughs over the last fifty years. Some of the more popular and reliable methods in common use include:
- Contraceptive pill
Each of these methods of contraception has their own advantages and disadvantages, and depending on your personal situation and preferences any of them might be preferable. If you are in a long term relationship, one of these might be more suited to prevent pregnancy, but if no other method is available to you then coitus interruptus is better than nothing.
The withdrawal method is not the safest method of contraception and provides little protection against sexually transmitted infections. However, it is better than using no contraception at all and should be considered in some situations if you want to avoid the risk of pregnancy.