Description of the Withdrawal Method:
The withdrawal method is clinically referred to as coitus interruptus, a Latin term meaning interrupted intercourse. This is when a male withdraws his penis from his female partner prior to ejaculating. This method does not provide protection from STDs, including HIV. For this reason it is not a recommended form of contraception or STD protection.
How the Withdrawal Method Works:
In theory the man will withdraw his penis before he ejaculates and ejaculate outside of his partner’s body. He must not ejaculate on or near his partner’s genitals, even externally.
Failure Rates for the Withdrawal Method:
The generally regarded failure rate for withdrawal is 19%, meaning if 100 women used withdrawal as their only method of birth control for one year, 19 of them would get pregnant. Keep in mind though that statistics on withdrawal are only as good as the method and people who report them.
Problems with the Withdrawal Method:
The two main disadvantages to withdrawal are that it does not protect from STDs, including HIV, and the failure rate is very high compared to other methods.
Why the Withdrawal Method Isn't Effective:
The main reason withdrawal is ineffective is that most men don’t actually know when they are going to ejaculate, and in the heat of the moment won’t withdraw in time. They may also think they withdrew fully before ejaculating but they may not have.
Contraception Information on About.com:
The following information is compiled from a variety of sources, including the CDC, information from drug manufacturers, Planned Parenthood, and Family Health International.
We strive to keep this information up to date, but new studies and information about side effects and effectiveness may not be reflected immediately in this information. This should be used as a guide only, and a health care professional should be consulted when considering a new or changed contraceptive method.