DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
The withdrawal method of contraception, also known as 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 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.
March 05, 2015
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- Dude A, et al. Use of withdrawal and unintended pregnancy among females 15-24 years of age. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2013;122:595.