Withdrawal (Pull Out Method)

What is withdrawal?

Withdrawal, commonly called the pull out method, is a method which involves withdrawing the penis from your partner before ejaculation and then ejaculating away from the partner's genital area. 

How effective is withdrawal in preventing pregnancy and STIs?

Withdrawal, when used perfectly, is 84% effective at preventing pregnancy; however the average rate of pregnancy is 19% because:

  • Pre-ejaculate (fluid emitted from the penis prior to ejaculation) may contain sperm left in the urethra from a previous ejaculation.

  • It can be difficult to sense, predict and control ejaculation well enough to pull out in time.

  • If the partner pulls out but ejaculates near the vaginal opening, it is still possible for sperm to enter the vagina.

Withdrawal does not offer protection against STIs. We recommend that you use condoms to protect yourself and your partner from STIs. 

How can I make withdrawal more effective?

Withdrawal is most effective when it is paired with another contraceptive method. Withdrawing before ejaculation is a good way to increase the effectiveness rate of your other method, whether you are using condoms, the pill or any other contraceptive method. 

Related Links

For more information about withdrawal, you can visit:

Planned Parenthood

  • 401.863-2794
    Health Promotion
  • 401.863-3953
    Health Services
  • 401.863-6000
    Sexual Assault Response Line
  • 401.863-4111
  • 401.863-3476
    Counseling & Psychological Services
  • 401.863-4111