Does Pulling Out Work

Does Pulling Out Work
Healthcare and medical concept. Medicine doctor with stethoscope in hand and Patients come to the hospital background.

Many readers are interested in the following topic: Does Pulling Out Work? Exploring the Effectiveness of the Withdrawal Method. We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.

While pulling out, also known as withdrawal or the “pull-out method”, is a method of contraception used by many couples, it is not the most effective. According to Planned Parenthood, there is about a 22% chance of getting pregnant when using the pulling out method as contraception.

Despite its popularity, pulling out is considered a less effective method of birth control since it relies on men’s ability to feel when they are about to ejaculate and pull out before any sperm enters the vagina. It is not effective in reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases as well as other forms of contraception, such as condoms or hormonal birth control.

However, some people choose to use pulling out in combination with other methods of contraception. Others may opt for it as an alternative to hormonal methods due to concerns about their potential side effects. Ultimately, the effectiveness of pulling out depends on individual factors such as timing, self-control, and communication between partners.

The Basics

Pulling out, also known as withdrawal method, is a type of birth control used by some individuals. It involves removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation, which is supposed to prevent pregnancy. However, it is not a very reliable method of contraception and has a high failure rate.

How it works

When a man ejaculates, he releases semen containing sperm into the vagina. If a sperm reaches an egg, fertilization can occur, and pregnancy can result. Pulling out aims to prevent this by removing the penis before ejaculation, making sure no sperm enters the vagina.

However, this method is flawed, as pre-ejaculate (pre-cum) can also contain sperm. Also, it can be difficult to time the withdrawal right, with even a small delay causing the method to fail. Additionally, pulling out does not protect against STIs.

Success rates

The failure rate of pulling out is relatively high, with estimates ranging from 18% to 27%. This means that for every 100 couples who use pulling out as their only form of contraception for a year, 18 to 27 of them will become pregnant. It is much less effective than other birth control methods, such as condoms or hormonal contraceptives.

In addition, pulling out is often not used correctly or consistently, further reducing its effectiveness. It is important to note that pulling out should not be used as a sole method of birth control, and other effective forms of contraception should be used instead.

Effectiveness Rate

The effectiveness rate of the “pulling out” method, also known as withdrawal method, is estimated to be around 78% when used correctly and consistently. This means that out of 100 couples using this method for a year, around 22 will become pregnant.

However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of this method heavily relies on the ability of the male partner to withdraw before ejaculation, which can be difficult to do consistently. It’s also worth mentioning that even if the male partner does withdraw in time, there is still a risk of pregnancy due to the presence of pre-ejaculate, which can contain sperm.

Factors Influencing Effectiveness

  • Partner communication: The effectiveness of withdrawal method can be improved by open communication between partners about when to withdraw and awareness of their respective fertility windows.
  • Experience: Couples who have used the method for a longer period of time and are familiar with each other’s bodies are more likely to use the method correctly and consistently.
  • Timing: The withdrawal method is more effective when used in combination with other birth control methods, such as condoms or hormonal contraceptives.
  • Health: Certain health conditions, such as sexually transmitted infections or fertility issues, can decrease the effectiveness of the withdrawal method.


While the withdrawal method can be a convenient option for some couples, it’s important to understand its effectiveness limitations and potential risks. If you’re considering using this method, it’s recommended to discuss your options with a healthcare provider and consider using it in combination with other birth control methods.

Factors That Affect Effectiveness

Timing of Withdrawal

The timing of withdrawal during intercourse is a critical factor that affects the effectiveness of the pull-out method. Withdrawal must occur before ejaculation to prevent the release of semen into the vagina. If withdrawal happens too late, the chances of pregnancy increase significantly.

Experience and Self-Control

Experience and self-control are other factors that affect the effectiveness of this method. Men with more experience and self-control are more likely to successfully withdraw before ejaculation. Men who lack self-control or experience may find it more challenging to pull out at the right time.

Pre-ejaculate (Pre-cum)

Pre-ejaculate, also known as pre-cum, is another factor that can affect the effectiveness of the pull-out method. Pre-cum can contain sperm and increase the chances of pregnancy, even if withdrawal occurs before ejaculation. Additionally, pre-cum can pick up leftover sperm from previous ejaculations, further increasing the chances of pregnancy.

STI Transmission

Finally, the pull-out method does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If one partner has an STI, the chances of transmission increase significantly, even if withdrawal occurs before ejaculation. Therefore, it is essential to use barrier methods such as condoms to prevent STI transmission.

Potential Risks

Sexually Transmitted Infections

One of the main potential risks of the pull-out method is the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This is because pre-ejaculate, or the fluid that is released before ejaculation, can contain STI pathogens if the person carrying the infection has not been treated. Even if the person carrying the infection does not ejaculate inside, there is still a risk of transmission through pre-ejaculate.

Unintended Pregnancy

Unintended Pregnancy

Another potential risk of the pull-out method is unintended pregnancy. While the method can be effective when done correctly, there is still a chance of pregnancy since pre-ejaculate can contain sperm. Even if the person monitoring the timing of withdrawal is careful, accidents can still happen, such as if ejaculation occurs earlier than anticipated or if pre-ejaculate enters the vagina.

Anxiety and Stress

Using the pull-out method as a form of birth control can also cause anxiety and stress for both partners. This is because there is always a risk of unintended pregnancy, which can lead to feelings of uncertainty and worry. This stress can negatively impact the sexual experience for both parties and can ultimately lead to a breakdown in communication and trust.

  • Conclusion
  • While the pull-out method can be an effective form of birth control when done correctly, it is not foolproof and carries potential risks. It is important to weigh the potential consequences before making a decision about what contraceptive method to use. It may be beneficial to consult with a healthcare provider to discuss alternative options and determine the best method for you and your partner.

    Alternatives to Pulling Out

    Barrier Methods

    Barrier methods like condoms or diaphragms can be effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. They work by blocking the sperm from entering the uterus. Condoms also provide protection against sexually transmitted infections, making them a great option for those who want to prevent both pregnancy and STIs.

    Although these methods may not be as convenient as pulling out, they can be more reliable if used consistently and correctly. It’s important to use them every time you have sex.

    Hormonal Methods

    Hormonal methods like birth control pills, patches, or injections can be highly effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. They work by preventing the release of an egg or thickening the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. Some hormonal methods can also help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce symptoms of PMS.

    While they may require a prescription from a healthcare provider, hormonal methods are a reliable alternative to pulling out for those who are looking for long-term contraceptive options.


    Sterilization procedures like tubal ligation or vasectomy can provide permanent contraception for those who do not want to have children in the future. These procedures involve blocking or cutting the fallopian tubes or vas deferens to prevent sperm and egg from meeting.

    While sterilization can be effective in preventing pregnancy, it is important to remember that it is a permanent procedure. It’s important to carefully consider your options before undergoing this type of contraception.

    • Experts say, there are many alternatives to pulling out that can be more reliable and effective at preventing pregnancy. It’s important to choose a method that works best for your individual needs and lifestyle. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about your options and how to use them correctly.

    Questions and Answers:

    What is the pulling out method?

    The pulling out method is a form of birth control in which the male partner withdraws his penis from the vagina before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy.

    Is the pulling out method effective?

    The pulling out method is not considered a highly effective form of birth control. While it can reduce the risk of pregnancy, it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections and there is still a chance of pregnancy due to pre-ejaculate fluid or failing to withdraw in time.

    What are the risks of using the pulling out method?

    The risks of using the pulling out method include an increased risk of pregnancy compared to other forms of birth control, as well as a risk of transmitting sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, the method can be difficult to use correctly and consistently, leading to a higher likelihood of pregnancy.