Withdrawal As Contraception: What We Know

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What? Withdrawal? It's not just your grandmother's favorite method of birth control

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Photo: Unknown Artist

Used correctly, withdrawl can be an effective method of birthcontrol

A new study on the tried and what we used to think, unproven, method of pulling out, or withdrawal, showed that it is a commonly used method of birth control, and may be comparable to the condom in preventing pregnancy.

One In Five Women

Using data from The Kinsey Institute’s Women’s Wellbeing and Sexuality survey, researchers found that one in five women used withdrawal within the last year.  More surprising is that many of them reported using it along with a condom.

Just As Effective As Condoms…

Surprisingly, with ‘typical use,’ it is just as effective as condoms in preventing pregnancy (18% failure rate versus 17% with condoms), IF there’s committed cooperation from both parties.

But Not Against Sexually Transmitted Infections

Of course this method will not protect against sexually transmitted infections, but for some in committed relationships, it does offer an alternative.  And when used WITH condoms, you are certainly improving the odds for an effective method for avoiding pregnancy and disease.

The report comes from the journal Contraception, June, 2009.

Jennifer Bass (M.P.H.)

is Director of Communications at The Kinsey Institute and founder of Kinsey Institute Sexuality Information Service for Students, now Kinsey Confidential.
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