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Birth Control Behavioral Methods (cont.)

Coitus Interruptus

Coitus interruptus involves withdrawal of the entire penis from the vagina before the man ejaculates (before sperm leaves the penis). Fertilization is prevented because sperm does not contact a woman’s egg. This method remains a significant means of fertility control in less advantaged countries.

  • How effective: This depends largely on the man's capability to withdraw prior to ejaculation. The failure rate is estimated to be about 4% in the first year of using this method exactly. In typical use, the rate is more like 19% during the first year of use. The failure rate means this method does not work to prevent pregnancy, and some couples using it will become pregnant anyway. The higher the failure rate, the more likely a woman is to have an unintended pregnancy.
  • Advantages: This method can be used at any time, with no devices, no cost, does not involve chemicals or hormones, and may offer a lower risk for other problems.
  • Disadvantages: There is a high risk for unintended pregnancy. This method does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/15/2014
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