How effective is the pull out method with birth control


The pull-out method is a form of birth control in which the male partner withdraws his penis from the female partner’s vagina before ejaculation. This method can be used as an effective form of contraception but it is important to consider the effectiveness and potential risks.

In this article, we will discuss the effectiveness of the pull-out method and other considerations such as consistency, plan B, and other birth control methods.

Overview of the pull out method

The pull out method, also known as coitus interruptus, is a form of contraception in which a person with a penis withdraws their penis from their partner’s vagina before they ejaculate. This has been used as an emergency contraceptive medication throughout history, and although the risks associated with it can be managed, there are still potential issues to consider.

When done correctly and consistently, the pull out method is about 78 percent effective for preventing pregnancy. However, it has higher failure rates than other native contraceptive methods such as hormonal birth control or condoms because there may be pre-ejaculate present from earlier in the session. Pre-ejaculate contains sperm that can still cause pregnancies when combined with additional ejaculate from later in the session.

Despite its name, the pull out method does not rely solely on physical action for effectiveness; users should also abstain from sexual activity for two days prior to any risk exposure to ensure a lower amount of potentially active sperm located close to risk exposure points. Because this technique involves taking antimicrobial precautions (such as washing one’s hands before contact with risk exposure points) and then relying on knowledge of one’s own body (knowing when an imminent ejaculation is occurring), it can be more difficult to use successfully than other contraceptive methods. For this reason, communication between partners is essential for proper use of this form of contraception.


The general effectiveness of the pull out method, also known as coitus interruptus, has been widely debated for decades. When used alone, this method of birth control is considered a less effective form of contraception since there is no external barrier between the sperm and the egg. However, when used in combination with other forms of contraception, the pull out method can be slightly more effective. Let’s take a closer look at the effectiveness of this method.

Success rate

The pull out method, also known as withdrawal, can be an effective form of birth control – when it is done correctly and consistently. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this method can work about 78 percent of the time. That said, success is highly dependent on the individual’s ability to do it correctly and consistently.

When used perfectly, meaning that the man completely withdraws before ejaculating every single time they have sex, it’s 96 percent effective in preventing pregnancy. This means that out of 100 couples who rely solely on the pull out method for a year still have a 4 percent chance of becoming pregnant because of typical human error.

That’s why given its effectiveness rates against pregnancy, health care providers generally do not recommend withdrawal alone as an effective contraceptive measure but rather in combination with

  • another form of birth control such as condoms
  • a contraceptive pill due to its higher success rate.

Pros and cons

The pull-out method is a form of contraception in which the male partner withdraws his penis from the vagina prior to ejaculation. This is also known as the withdrawal method and is used by some couples around the world.

There are both pros and cons to using this approach for birth control, and it’s important to understand both sides before making an informed decision. Here we will outline some of the basic advantages and disadvantages of utilizing this type of contraception:

  • Pros:
    • No chemicals or hormones are used, which means there are typically no side effects or health risks associated with use
    • It’s free
    • It doesn’t require any special equipment or education
    • It can give couples a sense of control over their reproductive decisions
    • It doesn’t interfere with sexual pleasure or spontaneity
  • Cons:
    • The effectiveness rate for preventing pregnancy by using solely the withdrawal method is only about 78%, which is much lower than other forms of birth control like condoms or contraceptive pill
    • The risk of unintended pregnancy increases if users have difficulty judging when ejaculation will occur during intercourse
    • If done incorrectly the male partner may still leak small amounts of semen, leading to an increased risk of pregnancy
    • Because it requires self-control and communication between partners, it isn’t always practical in certain situations (such as when one partner has had too much to drink)

How to use the pull out method

The pull out method is one of the oldest birth control methods, and has been used for centuries. It is based on removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation occurs. As a form of birth control it is not as reliable as other methods, but it can be effective if used correctly.

This section will cover the basics of using the pull out method:

Step-by-step guide

The pull out method is a form of birth control that involves the man withdrawing (or “pulling out”) his penis from a woman’s vagina prior to ejaculation. While it is not a perfect means of contraception, with proper use, this method can be quite effective. While it should not be used as the only form of contraception, couples may choose to combine it with other methods for added protection. As with any method of contraception, there are benefits and drawbacks, so please make sure to talk to your healthcare provider or family planning counselor before deciding if the pull out method is right for you.

Step-by-step guide:

  1. The man should place his hand on his penis prior to ejaculation in order to identify any changes in sensation that indicate an imminent orgasm.
  2. He should carefully withdraw his penis immediately before he senses he is about to ejaculate.
  3. The woman can also be aware of her own body and sensations that occur right before an orgasm and direct her partner when necessary.
  4. If done correctly, withdrawal should take place well before any semen has had a chance to enter the vagina during intercourse, thus preventing pregnancy from occurring at this time in their cycle.
  5. In order for this technique to work effectively (and with low failure rate), couples must practice good communication and timing and allow sufficient time between intercourse sessions for sperm levels in the semen to decrease over time since ejaculating multiple times per day increases the risk of pregnancy significantly more than just once per day will do.

Alternatives to the pull out method

The pull out method has been used for years as a form of birth control, but it is not very reliable and is not recommended as a sole form of birth control. There are other alternatives which are much more effective and can be used to help prevent unwanted pregnancies. These alternatives include:

  • Condoms
  • IUDs
  • Oral contraceptives

In this article we will look at the pros and cons of each form of birth control.

Different types of birth control

When considering alternatives to the pull out method, there are various forms of birth control available. To make the right choice for your needs, it is helpful to be aware of how each type works. Here is a summary of different types of birth control that people can use:

  • Barrier methods: These are physical objects placed between sexual partners to prevent sperm from entering the uterus and fertilizing an egg. Examples include male and female condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, contraceptive sponges, and spermicides.
  • Hormonal methods: These contain hormones that when taken correctly can be up to 98-99% effective in preventing pregnancy due to preventing ovulation or thickening cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. These methods come in many forms such as the pill, hormonal intrauterine device (IUD), contraceptive patch, vaginal ring and injection.
  • Long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs): This is a professionally inserted birth control that works for 3-12 years depending on its type and protects against conceiving without needed daily action like taking pills or changing out other devices frequently. Examples include IUDs with progestin or copper, contraceptive implants and Depo Provera injections which need replacing every 12 weeks respectively.
  • Fertility awareness & withdrawal: Fertility awareness involves tracking your body’s signs such as basal body temperature or cervical mucus changes in order to detect when you are ovulating so that you don’t engage in unprotected intercourse during this time if you want to avoid getting pregnant while withdrawal requires a certain amount of self-control in order not to ejaculate inside the vagina when sex occurs near ovulation time.


When used correctly and consistently, the pull-out method can be an effective form of birth control. Research has shown that when couples use the pull-out method correctly, the risk of unintended pregnancy can be reduced to 4%. Though this is still not as effective as other forms of birth control, the pull-out method can help couples avoid pregnancy if used correctly.

Summary of the effectiveness of the pull out method

When it comes to contraception, the pull-out method is one of the least effective forms of protection. Also known as withdrawal or “coitus interruptus,” this method has a high failure rate due to inaccurate timing, particularly when other fluids are present in the urethra. Pull-out too soon, and there could be viable sperm remaining inside the vagina; wait too long, and you might have already exposed yourself to ejaculated sperm. While using this method always pulls along an increased risk of accidental pregnancy and STI transmission, some couples may prefer its spontaneity over a more foolproof form of contraception.

The failure rate for the pull-out method varies depending on how carefully it is practiced: anywhere from 4% (when used perfectly) to 22% (when used less than perfectly). While this number may sound relatively low when compared to zero in perfect use failure rates for most hormonal birth control methods (including implants), IUDs, and sterilization procedures for women and men – but it can be difficult to practice safely by itself. As such, it is recommended that couples use additional protection whenever possible in order to reduce the risk of an unintended pregnancy. Additionally, a condom should always be used if either partner is not tested or is unsure of their status with regards to sexually transmitted infections (STIs).