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Pull out: Things to know if you're using this method as birth control

There’s nothing wrong with ‘pulling out’ morally or scientifically, but, it’s not an accurate birth control tactic.

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Scientifically, it’s not a method of contraception. It rests on ‘random chance’. So, yes, it can work sometimes and fail at other times – and there’s no way to accurately predict the outcome of pulling out and the chances of pregnancy.

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Is the pull-out method effective for avoiding pregnancy?

It provides no protection from acquiring and giving STIs, and other infections.

The person pulling out does so right before ejaculation, but sometimes the pre-cum or secretions that come before semen may also contain sperm which can lead to pregnancy (if it comes in contact with an ova).

How to choose a birth control technique

Lots of people use only the pull-out method during sex, and that’s a personal choice. You can follow it up with safety practices afterwards if you think there’s a high risk of pregnancy based on your experience

Also, the decision whether to use a pull-out method as contraception should be based on the informed consent of all partners involved.

As per the World Health Organization (WHO), only condoms can prevent both pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

However, some people go for the pull-out technique, followed by contraceptive pills in the case of faux pas, as it offers complete sensation to both partners.

Some men also complain of a lack of ability to sustain an erection with a condom.

But remember that timing and having a sense of control play an important role in making this work.

Ensure proper intimate hygiene since your private parts will be in direct contact in case you choose this ‘coitus interruptus’ way.

Other common contraception methods

Contraception should not just be viewed as a mechanism for family planning. But it also needs to be seen as a way to practice safe sex.

Here are some of the common ways other than pull out method that people use to avoid pregnancy:

  • Combined oral contraceptives
  • Progestogen-only pills
  • Implants
  • Birth control patch
  • Vaginal ring
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Male condoms
  • Female condoms
  • Standard Days Method where people avoid unprotected vaginal sex during most fertile days in the ovulation calendar.
  • Emergency contraception pills, prevent or delay the release of eggs from the ovaries.
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