Withdrawal Method

1. What is ‘withdrawal method’ of contraception?
This is a method of contraception where the male partner pulls out his penis from the female vagina prior to ejaculation.
2. What is the effectiveness of withdrawal method in preventing pregnancy?
It is 82 – 96% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, it is NOT a reliable method of preventing pregnancy due to the fact that pre-ejaculation fluid could contain up to 300,000 sperms! You need only 1 sperm to fertilize an egg. Therefore, if you really need to prevent a pregnancy due to social or medical situation, it is best to choose another more reliable method of contraception.
3. What are the benefits of withdrawal method?
  • No side effects
  • It is free
  • Does not interfere with social or religious beliefs
  • Could still be use to prevent pregnancy
  • More spontaneous sexual activity
4. What are the disadvantages of withdrawal method?
  • It is not very reliable
  • Does not prevent sexually transmitted disease
  • Requires experience and self-discipline from the male partner
  • Could not be used if the male partner has premature ejaculation
5. My partner insists on using the withdrawal method and refuses to allow me to use othermethods of contraception due to our religious belief. What should I do?
The best thing to do is to sit down with your partner and decide what are the options of preventing a pregnancy. A new study has shown that with proper usage this method is as effective as the condom in preventing pregnancy.1 Infact, some couples do actually practice this method of contraception successfully for many years. You could also combine it with condom during the ‘fertile days’ to reduce risk of pregnancy.
1. Jones RK, Fennell J,Higgins JA, et al. Better Than Nothing or savvy risk-reducing practice? Contraception 2009; 79: 407 – 410.

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