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Withdrawal

The guy removes his penis before he ejaculates; this method is way harder to get right than you might think.

WHAT IT IS

Possibly the oldest method of birth control out there next to waiting, withdrawal (pulling out, the pull out method) is pretty self-explanatory—the guy withdraws his penis from the woman’s vagina before he ejaculates.


HOW IT WORKS

Once again, the guy just pulls out before he comes.  


EFFECTIVENESS

Withdrawal is 78% effective. Note: When we talk about effectiveness we mean typical use numbers or what happens when couples used this method of birth control prettywell; it accounts for human errors and occasional contraceptive failure. BUT, teenagers are often not as careful as older people in using these methods, so real typical use rates for teens may be a little worse than what you see here. Keep that in mind as you're looking at the options and remember that for birth control to be effective, you have to use it consistently and correctly every single time.


MAJOR PERKS

  • Always available.
  • No visit to a health care professional required.
  • Non-hormonal.
  • Inexpensive (unless it doesn’t work).

MINOR DRAWBACKS

  • You have to be completely perfect every single time—no exceptions.
  • No STI protection (it’s a good idea to double up with a second, more effective method like the IUD, implant, ring, patch, shot, or pill if you’re using withdrawal as your primary method).  

Note: Not every woman experiences these drawbacks—they are just some of the ones that are commonly reported. Talk to your medical provider to learn more and keep in mind that if this method doesn’t work for you, there are LOTS more out there…but it’s best to wait at least six months to see if things get better before you decide to switch. If they don’t, or if you just can’t deal with them, talk with your medical provider about finding something that works for you.


NEED TO SEE A MEDICAL PROVIDER?

Nope; this one is all on you (and your partner).

 

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Teenagers sitting on a tree limb

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