What You Need to Know About the Pullout Method

“Who the hell uses the pullout method?!” This is the reaction I got from a friend regarding an article published in NY Mag a few weeks ago. And at first, I thought the same thing. You would think that with so many forms of contraception available in the market today, that women wouldn’t need to resort to such an archaic form of birth control, right? I mean we’re living in the 21st century for crying out loud.

At least that’s what I thought until I looked into it myself. To answer my friend’s question, quite a lot of women are using the pullout method. So much so that the author of the NY mag article dubbed women in their 20s and 30s the “pullout generation.” And if this is true, why aren’t we talking about it more? We have no problem talking about condoms and birth control, now let’s look into this together. From why women do it, the risks involved and possibly the potential benefits. Let’s get educated ladies.

Being Unprepared

Contrary to popular belief, not all women who use the pullout method use it because they’re irresponsible or unprepared. But it does happen, usually amongst women in their late teens and early twenties. The story usually goes like this:

You meet a guy (at bar, party, you name it), and you decide to take it to the next level.  Or maybe things are getting hot and heavy with your man. Whatever the situation, things escalate quickly. You’re either too shy to interrupt and tell him to put on a condom or you both realize neither of you have one.  To make things worse, you’re not taking any birth control. Either way, you decide to take a risk and just hope for the best. He said he would pullout in time so no problem, right?

WRONG. Don’t feel bad for “ruining the mood” or carrying condoms with you.  Maybe you have to stop the situation from escalating all together.  The last thing you want is to feel stressed and paranoid until your period comes. IF it comes that is…

The pill can suck

We may have an abundance of birth control methods available for women, but the truth is they simply don’t work for everyone. We’ve all heard of the side effects that sometimes comes with taking the pill. The mood swings, low sex drive, and increased chances of depression or anxiety. Many women are fortunate enough that they don’t experience any of these symptoms, while others feel it all.  So when the pill doesn’t work, women move on to other methods.

Condoms are no fun…sometimes

We all know the stereotype that men hate condoms but they’re not the only ones. Some women hate them just as much.  They feel that sex isn’t as pleasurable with condoms- plain and simple. So that’s when they resort to the… 

Pullout method

A lot of women who use the pullout method do it because the pill, condoms and/or any other forms of birth control just aren’t not for them.  Women who actively choose to use this method have everything down to a T.  According to the NY Mag article, some women go as far as downloading menstrual cycle apps on their phone and follow their ovulation cycle. They use condoms only on days where they’re ovulating. Every other day is reserved for pulling out.  

Now, this method isn’t recommended for women who enjoy casual encounters because there’s no way you can protect yourself from STDs. Typically women who use this method are in a serious monogamous relationship. So just in case an accident does happen, it’s not the end of the world. 

But does this method really work? Researchers found that when the pullout method is used correctly, four out of 100 couples will get pregnant in the first year compared to two out of 100 couples who use condoms. In essence, when used properly the pullout method is almost as effective as using a condom. However when used incorrectly, the rates of pregnancy obviously go up (18 in 100).  Another thing to take into consideration is men’s pre-ejaculation or better known as pre-cum. In a survey, researchers found that in 41% of men’s pre-cum contained sperm which can cause pregnancy.   

Pulling out does come with it’s fair share of risks but perhaps risks no greater than any other method (when done correctly, obviously). If you and your man are pros at the pullout method, yes, sex can be awesome. But keep in mind, you need to trust that your guy will actually withdraw in time. Pulling out isn’t for the sexually inexperienced. 

In the end, whether or not you believe the pullout method is a legitimate form of birth control, we need to be able to speak openly and honestly about it. Ultimately, you need to find what works best for you. Educate yourselves on the different options out there and take away the shame about talking about sex. I mean we’re living in the 21st century for crying out loud.


Tags: health and wellness, pulling out, pullout method, romance, sex, sexual health, withdrawal method

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