It is well-known that withdrawal doesn't really work. At least, that's the consensus from sex educators and locker-room sages. But now, four reproductive health researchers contend that the withdrawal method, commonly known as pulling out or, more delicately, coitus interruptus, has gotten a bad rap. They cite evidence indicating withdrawal is almost as reliable as condoms over the course of a year. And while interrupting intercourse before ejaculation has obvious drawbacks, it's a reasonable strategy for monogamous couples who aren't worried about venereal diseases and have difficulty with other methods. Jones, lead author of the opinion piece in the June issue of the journal Contraception.
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It is well-known that withdrawal doesn't really work. At least, that's the consensus from sex educators and locker-room sages. But now, four reproductive health researchers contend that the withdrawal method, commonly known as pulling out or, more delicately, coitus interruptus, has gotten a bad rap.
They cite evidence indicating withdrawal is almost as reliable as condoms over the course of a year. And while interrupting intercourse before ejaculation has obvious drawbacks, it's a reasonable strategy for monogamous couples who aren't worried about venereal diseases and have difficulty with other methods. Jones, lead author of the opinion piece in the June issue of the journal Contraception. For someone who has no access to anything else, sure, it's better than nothing.
The "better than nothing" rap is one of several misconceptions about withdrawal, Jones and her co-authors say. Several studies have found that pre-ejaculate fluid usually does not contain sperm, contrary to what generations of youths learned in sex ed class.
And while 85 percent of couples will get pregnant in a year using nothing, about 18 percent will get pregnant with "typical" use of withdrawal. Typical is defined as imperfect, real-world use. Those withdrawal and condom estimates come from a federal survey of women that was analyzed by the Guttmacher Institute, an authoritative reproductive-health research center.
Jones is a researcher there, but wasn't part of the institute's analysis. The thing is, contraceptive practices are moving targets. Previous versions of this national survey, also analyzed by Guttmacher, suggested 25 to 27 percent of couples who used withdrawal got pregnant per year, compared with 14 to 15 percent with condoms.
And people's ability to use these methods is constantly changing. People are better at it when they're married; we're not sure why. It looks like people genuinely are better at using withdrawal today than 20 years ago.
In the federal survey, more than half the women, ages 15 to 44, reported ever using withdrawal. The researchers suspect many more actually did. That was clear from Fennell's interviews with 30 couples who were cohabiting or married.
Several are quoted in the Contraception article:. Which I know is, like, the worst. He pulled out. I can't believe we didn't use anything, but I guess withdrawal is better than nothing. The authors focused on the role of the method in mature, monogamous relationships.
Withdrawal is often a backup strategy for couples who rely on condoms and track the woman's fertile period. As one woman told Fennell, "It doesn't smell bad and it doesn't have chemicals in it. Nonetheless, critics of the article have focused on teenagers.
Ironically, fans of all-inclusive sex education shudder at the idea of telling teens that withdrawal actually is better than nothing. They warn that interrupting coitus doesn't protect against sexually transmitted diseases, and it requires more self-control and perceptiveness than young men tend to possess.
That's what we've criticized with the abstinence education movement," she said. But then we have to take it a step further and say: Now, think about this. Explore further. Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. Your opinions are important to us. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence.
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Surprising second thoughts on the effectiveness of coitus interruptus
Coitus interruptus, also known as withdrawal, is a traditional family planning method in which the man completely removes his penis from the vagina, and away from the external genitalia of the female partner before he ejaculates. Some benefits of coitus interruptus are that the method, if used correctly, does not affect breastfeeding and is always available for primary use or use as a back-up method. In addition, coitus interruptus involves no economic cost or use of chemicals and has no directly associated health risks. Coitus interruptus does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases STDs , including human immunodeficiency virus HIV , and women using this method should be counseled that consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk for transmission of HIV and other STDs. Use of female condoms can provide protection from transmission of STDs, although data are limited.
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The withdrawal method of contraception coitus interruptus is the practice of withdrawing the penis from the vagina and away from a woman's external genitals before ejaculation to prevent pregnancy. The goal of the withdrawal method — also called "pulling out" — is to prevent sperm from entering the vagina. Using the withdrawal method for birth control requires self-control. Even then, the withdrawal method isn't an especially effective form of birth control. Sperm may enter the vagina if withdrawal isn't properly timed or if pre-ejaculation fluid contains sperm. The withdrawal method doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections.
Coitus Interruptus (Withdrawal)
To save this word, you'll need to log in. Send us feedback. First Known Use of coitus interruptus , in the meaning defined above History and Etymology for coitus interruptus borrowed from New Latin, "interrupted sexual intercourse" Keep scrolling for more Learn More about coitus interruptus Share coitus interruptus Post the Definition of coitus interruptus to Facebook Share the Definition of coitus interruptus on Twitter Time Traveler for coitus interruptus. See more words from the same year Dictionary Entries near coitus interruptus coistrel coition coitus coitus interruptus coix cojoin cojones.
Coitus interruptus , also known as withdrawal or the pull-out method , is a method of birth control in which a man, during sexual intercourse , withdraws his penis from a woman's vagina prior to orgasm and ejaculation and then directs his ejaculate semen away from the vagina in an effort to avoid insemination. This method of contraception , widely used for at least two millennia, is still in use today. This method was used by an estimated 38 million couples worldwide in Perhaps the oldest documentation of the use of the withdrawal method to avoid pregnancy is the story of Onan in the Torah and the Bible. This text is believed to have been written down over 2, years ago. After the decline of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, contraceptive practices fell out of use in Europe; the use of contraceptive pessaries, for example, is not documented again until the 15th century.