Question: Is it possible for a girl to get pregnant if I pulled out and she was on the birth control pill?
Planning A Family
Quite often, we receive questions from men and women who are concerned about pregnancy risk.
After all, although most people want to become parents at some point, people have different feelings and thoughts about when they want to have children. Many people want to wait to have children until they are married, in a committed relationship, until they have completed their education or are financially stable.
And after people have started having children, they typically want to stop at some point, such as when they have the number of children they hoped to have. So, for various reasons, women and men often find themselves wanting to find effective forms of birth control – and to understand how birth control works so
You’re describing a situation in which a man and a woman are using two forms of birth control: the withdrawal method, which involves a man pulling his penis out of a woman’s vagina before he ejaculates, and the birth control pill, which involves a woman taking a hormonal birth control pill every day.
The withdrawal method is considered moderately effective as a means of reducing the risk of pregnancy. If a man is able to successfully pull out before ejaculating, then he is unlikely to get any sperm into his partner’s vagina. (Note the use of “unlikely”; some research shows no evidence of sperm in pre-ejaculate and other research has found that some men do indeed have sperm in their pre-ejaculate; and no, there’s no way to tell if a particular man is one of the ones who “leaks” sperm into his pre-ejaculatory fluids.)
However, if he doesn’t pull out in time, and he accidentally gets pre-ejaculate or semen inside his partner’s vagina or very close to her vaginal entrance, then his partner could become pregnant if they are not using any other forms of effective birth control. And although many men intend to pull out before ejaculating, it’s often easier said than done and thus not a very reliable choice for birth control.
Birth Control Pill
The birth control pill is considered a highly effective method of contraception as long as a woman takes the pill as prescribed. If she misses pills, for example, then the pill is less likely to work as intended.
Even if a woman takes her pills correctly, the pill’s effectiveness may be compromised if she experiences vomiting or diarrhea in a given month, as either of these may keep her body from properly absorbing all of the hormones in the pills.
Doubling Up On Protection
Using two methods of birth control – such as the withdrawal method and the birth control pill – is a particularly wise choice as neither method is perfect in preventing pregnancy, but used together, a couple’s chances of pregnancy are greatly reduced.
Neither method protects against sexually transmissible infections (STI), including HIV, so you will want to make sure that you have both been tested for STIs and HIV.
If you are not ready to become pregnant, or interested in becoming pregnant, we recommend you and your partner choose highly reliable forms of birth control. Examples of these include IUDs, the birth control implant, hormonal birth control pills (“the pill”), among others. And as mentioned above, using two forms of birth control – for example, IUDs and condoms OR the pill plus withdrawal – is one strategy that people use to even further reduce their risk of pregnancy. But condoms are the only method of birth control that also reduce the risk of STI transmission, so consider using condoms in at least the first few months of a new sexual relationship, with new partners, or if you and your partner are not sexually exclusive (“monogamous”).
To learn more about contraception, visit Planned Parenthood and/or talk with your healthcare provider.
Next Question: I Bled During Fingering. Should I Be Concerned?
My boyfriend and I were messing around and it turned into fingering. Things got a little rough and all of a sudden I felt a sharp pain and he noticed blood. I’m sore and it burns a little to urinate. Should I be concerned?
Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.
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Reviewed and updated April 29, 2017.