- suitable for unplanned sex - no preparation is needed
- does not require you to take or use any hormone treatment
- can be used while breastfeeding
- does not affect other medication
- does not interrupt sex.
When a man physically withdraws his penis before ejaculation to prevent sperm from entering his partner’s body.
Withdrawal, or 'the withdrawal method', acts as a form of natural contraception as the man withdraws his penis before ejaculation, so that no sperm enters the woman’s vagina.
Withdrawal relies on the man being able to fully pull out at the right moment. The point of ejaculation can be difficult to predict and control, so withdrawal is a risky method of preventing pregnancy. Some sperm can be released in pre-ejaculate or ‘pre-come’, so there is still a chance of pregnancy, even if the man comes outside the vagina. Withdrawal also interrupts sex (and is a bit messy), so can be less pleasurable for one or both partners.
Read what other people think of withdrawal on our contraception forum.
*for typical use. This means 22 out of 100 women using this method will get pregnant.