Pulling out – Is it an effective option for contraception?

  • By Team TDO

What is the ‘Pulling out’ method?

‘Pulling out’, ‘Withdrawal’ and ‘Coitus Interruptus’ are all the different names for probably one of the safest methods of contraception. It involves the male partner withdrawing or pulling out his penis just before ejaculation. This ensures that no semen has been ejaculated into the vagina or vulva of the female partner. Since there are no sperms travelling inside, the result is – No Pregnancy!

Is this method really effective?

Like all methods of contraception, the effectiveness of the pulling out method also depends on how correctly it is done. This method requires a lot of mutual understanding between the partners. The male partner must also exercise great self-control and accuracy in knowing when he will reach the highest point of sexual excitement so he can pull out at the right moment.

Statistics have the following things to say

Of women whose partners use withdrawal, 4% become pregnant each year if they always do it correctly,
and 27% become pregnant each year if they don't always do it correctly.
Ejaculating close to the vagina or vulva would mean that the sperms still have a way to travel inside the vagina. At times the pre-ejaculate fluid may also contain a few sperms from the previous ejaculation that may end up causing pregnancy. As a precaution against this, experts suggest the male partner pass urine before the sexual act.

  1. Withdrawal method of contraception is the best option for members of religious groups in which using contraceptive devices like pills, condoms or IUDs are a form of sin.
  2. Withdrawal method does not protect you from HIV/AIDS and other STDs.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this method?


  1. It is simple, safe and convenient.
  2. It is the best method when no other contraceptive method is available.
  3. It has no side-effects
  4. It does not require a medical prescription.
  5. It does not alter the menstrual cycle.
  6. It does not affect future fertility.


  1. Requires great self-control, experience and trust.
  2. Not suitable for men who suffer from premature ejaculation
  3. Not suitable for teenagers and sexually inexperienced people.
  4. Does not ensure protection from sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.
  5. Less effective than other methods of birth control.
  6. May interfere with sexual pleasure due to nervousness and anticipation of pulling out at the right time.

The pull out method is thus one of the safest methods of contraception, provided one has a thorough understanding of one’s body, trust in the partner and a huge amount of self-control.