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Withdrawal Method of Birth Control: Teen Version

What is the withdrawal method?

Withdrawal is removal of the penis from the vagina before a man has an orgasm. It is done to try to keep semen and sperm from getting into the vagina. This method is not reliable. It can be hard to know exactly when to withdraw the penis. Also, some semen can come out of the penis before orgasm. A woman can get pregnant with even just a small amount of sperm. This method is not recommended to prevent pregnancy.

Another term for withdrawal is coitus interruptus.

How is the withdrawal method used?

During sexual intercourse the man pulls his penis out of the woman's vagina before he has an orgasm, which is when most of the semen starts coming out.

What are the benefits?

The withdrawal method of birth control does not depend on any contraceptive devices or drugs. It may be an option for people who have allergic reactions to condoms, spermicides, or drugs.

What are the disadvantages?

The disadvantages of the withdrawal method are:

  • The time to withdraw the penis from the vagina is hard to predict accurately.
  • Some sperm will come out of the penis before orgasm and may go into the uterus and cause pregnancy.
  • It may make it harder for the woman to have an orgasm.
  • It requires the man to have good self-control. He may not enjoy sex as much if he removes the penis from the vagina before orgasm.
  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • It may work for a while and then fail at an unpredictable time.
  • It has a typical failure rate of 18% (close to a 1 in 5 chance of causing pregnancy).
Developed by RelayHealth.
Pediatric Advisor 2013.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2011-07-21
Last reviewed: 2011-05-17
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
© 2013 RelayHealth and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.
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