Withdrawal Method

What is it?

  • A form of birth control that is also known as "pulling out." The man removes his penis from the vagina before he comes (ejaculates).

How does it work?

  • Ejaculation occurs outside the vagina so semen doesn’t enter vagina.

What’s great about it?

  • Involves no hormones so, no side-effects, and periods are not affected.

What’s not so great about it?

  • Least effective method in real life (approx. 22 out of 100 women become pregnant each year), but it’s better than using nothing.
  • Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – condoms advised.
  • Requires a degree of control by the man.
  • Sometimes semen gets into the woman's vagina by accident.
  • Some people find that withdrawal lessens sexual pleasure.

Additional Links


SH.UK offers a range of free sexual health service such as STI testing, treatment and contraception across the UK. Simply register then complete an online consultation to order your free STI test kit.

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