The World's Oldest Birth Control Method

One birth control method that is certainly not fool-proof, but that is worth mentioning, is the withdrawal method. This method, also called "coitus interruptus" is when the penis is withdrawn from the partner's vagina before ejaculation. This may actually be the most common form of birth control since it is free and always an option.


This method is certainly not 100% effective. The effectiveness of the withdrawal method is completely dependent on the male partner's self-knowledge and self control. Research has shown that this method is between 73% and 96% effective. 85% of heterosexual partners who simply leave pregnancy up to chance are likely to become pregnant, while only 19% of those who use the withdrawal method are.

Learn more about the Withdrawal Method as Birth Control

How To Use This Method

To make the withdrawal method as effective as possible, there are number of things that the male needs to do. The male should urinate and wipe the tip of the penis before having sex. This will ensure that there isn't any semen from a previous time on his penis that could enter the vagina this time.

The couple can then have sex until the male feels close to ejaculation. There will probably be some pre-ejaculation fluid that enters the vagina, but this should not contain sperm. The male needs to withdraw his penis when he feels that he is about to ejaculate.

He needs to remove his penis, and his ejaculation away from the woman's vagina, crotch and legs. It is possible for sperm outside of the vagina that is on the vulva or the legs nearby to travel to the uterus.

The Man's Awareness

The effectiveness of this method obviously depends on the amount of awareness that the man has. Withdrawal won't be effective if the male doesn't withdrawal completely before orgasm. There needs to be a lot of communication between the two people as well.

This method is the least effective for teenagers, as they have less experience and don't know their bodies as well. To increase effectiveness, new partners may want to also use a spermicide or fertility awareness method to be aware of the woman's cycle.


This method is free and always available. There are no side effects to it and it does not change the menstrual cycle. It can help a couple to become more communicative and to know their bodies better. Finally, it is certainly more effective than using no birth control method at all.


The largest disadvantage of this method is that it doesn't prevent STDs or AIDS. Also, the sexual interruption can certainly lessen the pleasure. It requires a great deal of self control and awareness on the part of the man. It is less effective with those who have less sexual experience and it is less effective than most other birth control methods. It is certainly less effective if one or both people are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


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