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revised Wednesday April 22 2009
healthy sexuality
Birth Control Methods


Withdrawal - commonly known as “pulling out” - is the removal of the penis from the vagina before ejaculation.  

Withdrawal prevents pregnancy by keeping sperm from entering the vagina and coming in contact with an egg.


Withdrawal is NOT an effective way to prevent pregnancy, even for partners who think that they’re doing it right.

Even when done at exactly the right time, it’s still only about 73% effective*.

* source: CBCA


Advantages & Disadvantages



  • Can be used when no other method is available.
  • Doesn't cost anything.
  • Doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS.
  • Requires strong self-control, understanding and trust.
  • Isn't recommended for men who ejaculate prematurely.
  • Sperm can still enter the vagina through pre-ejaculate.

Cautions & Thing to Consider

Withdrawal Doesn’t Protect Against STIs

Using the withdrawal method won’t protect you or your partner from STIs including HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B. Use a condom every time you have sexual intercourse to reduce your chances of getting an STI, including HIV/AIDS.

Control is Really Difficult

Pulling out at the exact right time is hard to do during the heat of the moment. Many men don’t know exactly when to withdraw or don't have the willpower to pull out before ejaculating (cumming).

Pre-Ejaculate (Pre-Cum) Still Contains Sperm

Most men release a small amount of semen before they ejaculate – called pre-cum.  There is enough sperm in the pre-cum to fertilize an egg.

Ejaculating Outside the Vagina Isn’t Foolproof

If a man ejaculates close enough to the outside of the vagina, the sperm can still swim up into the vagina and fertilize an egg.


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Revised: Wednesday April 22 2009

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