Thanks for your question. We get a lot of questions about “withdrawal” or the “pull out” method. The withdrawal method is when a person with male reproductive organs withdraws their penis from the vagina before they ejaculate (i.e. release sperm). The tricky thing with the “pull out” method is that you need to withdraw your penis completely from the vagina before any semen (i.e. cum) comes out. If it’s done perfectly the pull out method can be really effective. However because the timing is tricky, on average 1 in 5 people who use the “pull out” method will get pregnant.
If you are using the “pull out” method it’s important to know about emergency contraception. A person with female reproductive organs can take emergency contraception within 5 days after having sex to help prevent a pregnancy. It’s a good idea to get this ahead of time as the sooner you take it the more effective it will be.
If you are trying to avoid a pregnancy we recommend looking into other contraception (i.e., birth control or pregnancy prevention) options including: the intrauterine device (IUD), implant, injectable, patches, vaginal ring, pills, and/or condoms.