Is pulling out(withdrawal method) an effective way to prevent pregnancy?

There are so many ways to prevent pregnancy out there with the pulling out or withdrawal method being one of the common ones used by people to try to prevent conception. You must have used this method before. So what is the pulling out/withdrawal method?

The pulling out or withdrawal method is where the man has sexual intercourse without protection but pulls out a few seconds before ejaculation so no sperm makes it inside for fertilization to be successful. However, for those men who have tried this before know that it is not easily achievable as it requires too much of self-control because a man is required to pull out at a very crucial moment of coitus.

This post will take you through what the pulling out or withdrawal method is, how it is done, if it can prevent pregnancy, and most importantly the failure or success rates.

Let’s get to it.


What is the pulling out/withdrawal method?

Pulling out/withdrawal method is where two grown adults have unprotected sex with the aim of the male partner pulling out timely, probably a few seconds to ejaculation to prevent sperms from entering. That is the main goal of this method because if sperms don’t make it inside, there will be no possibility of pregnancy.

To be able to achieve this goal both partners need to be very alert. Ladies, do not just make it a man’s obligation to make this happen because you also have a part to play in it. For a couple to decide on contraception, or rather prevention, there must be reasons such as health concerns or pregnancy prevention.

Before you make a final decision to use the pulling out method as your way of preventing pregnancy or even infections, talk to your partner, and discuss the risks, the failure, and success rates so do not regret it later because it is not 100% effective or safe. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the most effective method of contraception should be chosen by women, men, or couples after taking into account a variety of factors.


How pulling out is done

Pulling out is done by having coitus without any prevention such as a condom or pills but just before ejaculation, there is pulling out to avoid sperms from making their way into the woman.

You may not be aware of this but most people actually use pulling out method including your neighbor, colleague, or even your friend. They might NOT tell you as it is their personal business but most people do. Before you think of using this method, talk to your doctor about the risks, failure rates, and other things you might not be aware of. Do not just do things because the people you know are doing it!

Why pulling out is done

Pulling out is done for various reasons and this may vary from one couple to another. The following are some of the main reasons a couple may opt for withdrawal/ pulling out;

  • The most common reason for this method is to prevent conception/pregnancy.
  • Some people try to do to prevent infections.
  • Some people choose this method because they do not want any other contraceptive method.
Pulling out
The primary reason for pulling out is to avoid pregnancy

Some of the few benefits of this method include;

  • It is totally free and readily available.
  • It does not feature any side effects like many other pregnancy control methods.
  • It does not require a doctor or qualified medical personnel to prescribe it for you.
pulling out
Pulling out does not require a doctor’s prescription

The withdrawal method/pulling out method risks

As it is, everything has its repercussions. Pulling out may protect you from pregnancy but it cannot protect you from sexually transmitted infections because other sexually transmitted infections will still be spread from one partner to another through physical skin-to-skin contact and not necessarily through bodily fluids. These infections include Human Papillomavirus(HPV), genital herpes, and genital warts. So be careful about all this because information is power and being aware of any health risks associated with pulling out will make you make an informed decision.


How to make Pulling out effective

Pulling out requires a couple of things to be followed for it to be effective and failure to do that, you may end up getting pregnant.

pulling out
Talk to your partner first

These things include:

  1. Self-control- Pulling out requires so much self-control because as the male partner you have to assume and interrupt your happy moment to ensure you get out and in time. Not all men are capable of this as some think it is selfish of their women partner to let them go through all that.
  2. Time management- For pulling out to be effective, the man needs to ensure they pull out before they ejaculate and failure to track the time factor, pregnancy will occur.
  3. Communication- If the primary goal is to avoid pregnancy, communication is key because sometimes your man may delay and end up finishing inside of you. In such moments, communication is required for another contraception method such as the emergency pill(morning after pill) to be used.
  4. Put your penis far away from the vaginal opening when you pull out because there will not be an essence of pulling out if you end up ejaculating at the vaginal opening and the sperms find their way inside. I recommend buying ‘fun-time’ hygiene towels to help wipe yourselves adequately.
  5. Do not have sexual intercourse again immediately after pulling out the first time because most times, sperms might still be around the penis area. Urinate and clean the penis tip if you intend to have intercourse again shortly. This will aid in getting rid of any leftover sperm from the last ejaculation.
  6. Be consistent in pulling out. This is to mean that every time you have sex, your many should be able to do it.

What to do if pulling out fails

  • Talk to your doctor.
  • Meet your ob.GYN for proper advice.
  • Have emergency contraceptives


pulling out
Use emergency pills if anything goes wrong


Pulling out is an effective contraception method if it is done well and if no sperm enters the woman which is the primary goal. However, in case of any slight mistake and sperms make it inside, pregnancy may occur. Have you used the pulling out/withdrawal method before? How was your experience? feel free to let us know in the comment section.

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