How Likely Are You To Get Pregnant Using The Pull-Out Method?

Most people refer to it as the “pull-out” or “withdrawal method”, elitists refer to it as “coitus interruptus” and to the sacrilegious it’s the “pull out and pray” method! But no matter what you want to call it, the one thing that cannot be disputed is just how common this method of contraception is, especially in India. India is the most populous democracy in the world, but most women still feel awkward discussing sex and none but the bravest would dare to buy condoms – even if they are married! It’s no surprise then, that the world’s oldest form of contraception is still the rage out here. But how effective is the pull-out method and is this really your best option for contraception?


The Risk Of Pregnancy With The Pull Out Method

“Technically, the risk of pregnancy with the pull out method is just 4%, but in real life scenarios, it is one of the most ineffective methods, with a pregnancy risk of 27%”

As the name suggests, the pull out method involves the man withdrawing during sex, prior to ejaculation. If the method is followed perfectly (perfect use efficacy) the risk of pregnancy using the pull out method is very low – just a 4% chance of pregnancy in a year. This looks good on paper, but let’s consider the actual scenario – both of you are going at it, hot and heavy and he is supposed to retain enough self-control to withdraw at the perfect moment; not too early or both of you will land up frustrated and not too late or both of you will have a lot of sleepless nights until your next period! So yes, the “actual rate” of failure (taking into account that he might not always be able to pull out in time) is much higher – at 27% chance of pregnancy in a year.

The Pull Out Method Vs Other Popular Contraceptives

“The pull out method is about as risky as the worst contraceptive – spermicide gels, which have a failure rate of 28%, while birth control pills are among the most effective with a pregnancy risk of just 9% in a year”

There is a big difference between the pull out method “perfect use efficacy” of 4% and its “typical use efficacy” of 27%, but how does this method stack up against other forms of contraception? Spermicide gels are the least effective, with a high failure rate – 28 % chance of pregnancy in a year. Fertility-awareness based methods such as natural family planning or the rhythm method also have a low score at 24 % chance of pregnancy in a year. A condom has an 18 % chance of pregnancy while the birth control pill comes in at a 9 % chance of pregnancy in a year. These figures are not based on “perfect use” but rather on typical use. It is obvious at a glance than the pull-out method does not fare too well in real-life situations and that it is one of the most ineffective methods of birth control!

What Is The Most Effective Birth Control Method?

“An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small ‘T’-shaped contraceptive device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus and it is one of the most effective forms of birth control – the risk of pregnancy ranges between 0.8% to 0.2%”

The contraceptives that are most effective are the contraceptive implant and the intrauterine device (IUD). The contraceptive implant is a tiny flexible tube that is inserted under your skin and it slowly releases hormones that prevent your ovaries from releasing eggs – the contraceptive implant has a 0.05 % chance of pregnancy in a year. An intrauterine device (IUD) is a small ‘T’-shaped contraceptive device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus and it is one of the most effective forms of birth control – ranging from 0.8% to 0.2%.

If your partner is older and more experienced, you might be tempted to use the pull out method because you believe that he will not experience self-control issues. What you might not know is that pre-cum (pre-ejaculate) can contain sperm so even if your partner pulls out in time, it does not mean that you cannot get pregnant… all it takes to get pregnant is one persistent swimmer!

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March 1, 2018

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