to ask how common is it to get pregnant from the withdrawal method

(65 Posts)
AmberSocks Tue 12-Feb-13 10:37:02

or from putting the condom on just before "the moment"?

I know,very silly that i dont even know but until i read the other thread i didnt realise it was so common.

I thought it was one of those things you are told not to do because there is a very rare chance you could get pregnant but really everyone does it,are you supposed to put the condom on as soon as it gets hard???


redplasticspoon Tue 12-Feb-13 10:38:21

Condom before penetration. The withdrawal method isn't a contraceptive method.

TheBigJessie Tue 12-Feb-13 10:38:39

You put the condom on the penis before it goes in the vagina.

Eebahgum Tue 12-Feb-13 10:41:29

Do you combine it with tracking your cycle? The week immediately before & immediately after your period you are very unlikely to get pregnant. But I wouldn't trust the withdrawal method on fertile days. He does release small amounts of sperm before he actually ejaculates so you could quite easily get pregnant. X

AmberSocks Tue 12-Feb-13 10:41:34

Pigsmummy Tue 12-Feb-13 10:42:01

Are you looking for % chance? no one can give you that answer. It depends on sperm count and time of the month for the woman. It isn't safe sex and I would reccomened that you go speak to a doctor about contraception because you are clearly in need of some sensible advice.

AmberSocks Tue 12-Feb-13 10:42:04

sorry dont now ho to make clicky,but just googled it and that came up!

Ashoething Tue 12-Feb-13 10:45:47

I disagree with many posters. We have successfully been using the withdrawal method for 15 years. Only one unplanned pregnancy and that was dh decided to just go ahead and ahem...finish...without asking if it was a safe time of the month. dc3 is a little darling thoughgrin

We have continued to use it successfully for 3 years since then although I would like dh to go for a vasectomy but he thinks it makes him less of a manhmm

AmberSocks Tue 12-Feb-13 10:47:12

yes eebah i did track my cycle after dc3 and it worked for 2 and a half years.we have 4 now and i really dislike condoms so have been just putting them on before he comes,i know when i am ovulating because im not breastfeeding anymore so my cycle is back to normal.

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 10:52:10

There are various figures floating round for the efficacy of withdrawal, but (like the method?) they're not terribly reliable as it's not been well studied - it's often not asked about specifically in contraception studies, and also in practice it is rarely used as a sole method (it's often in combination with fertility awareness and condoms).

My Mum and Dad used it the first time they EVER had sex (first time ever for my Mum with anyone). My sister is now 45 years old grin

I personally wouldn't rely on it...

<<reels at memory of my Mum confessing that to me at age 14>>

BarredfromhavingStella Tue 12-Feb-13 10:55:42

Shoe I would go hmm too , DH has had the snip & I personally think he is more of a man for taking responsibility & doing so.

Ashoething Tue 12-Feb-13 10:59:05

Totally agree barred-I thim he is an arse but have been moaning about him getting it done for 4 years and he still dragging his feet! I refuse to get sterilised as I have had alot of operations/complications re pregnancy and feel I have more than done my bit.

Smellslikecatspee Tue 12-Feb-13 11:01:05

How many Roman Catholics are there????? grin

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 11:02:33

Catholics are debarred from 'the sin of Onan"

Jenny70 Tue 12-Feb-13 11:03:08

It's been shown that sperm are released before the big bang (so to speak) so if that pre-cum fluid is inside you, then there is a significant chance of conception if it is the right time & everyone is fertile.

Obviously the number of sperm is less, but it only takes 1.

If you're tracking cycle etc, then at least you know what chance there is of an egg being about... but it isn't contraception, it's decreasing the risk, but not stopping anything from happening.

You will get pregnant, the withdrawal method is not contraception.
There is sperm in the pre-ejaculate.
Unless you want a baby very soon, get some contraception or purchase some condoms.

Berts Tue 12-Feb-13 11:07:44

I used the withdrawal method - and got pregnant twice, durrr!

An ex of mine used withdrawal - results: one mc; one abortion and one healthy baby girl.

What about other non-hormonal methods of contraception (if you're in a steady exclusive relationship and have had all the STI tests)? Since I had my DD I had the non-hormonal coil fitted - no hormones, no condoms, no faffing about at all and as effective as sterilisation, but fully reversible. I just leave it in for 10 years, or have it removed earlier when we decide to have another go at TTC. I haven't had any probs with it, so maybe talk to your GP?

gotthemoononastick Tue 12-Feb-13 11:07:46

scarlettlady.....are you my daughter?..blushing.

LittleChimneyDroppings Tue 12-Feb-13 11:09:44

We use that along with tracking my cycle. Its worked just fine for 20 years.

gotthemoononastick - grin I'm not sure....were you 15?? It was made worse by my Mum telling me that it happened on the bed that was now mine. Yeah thanks for that Mum. Gotta love having an open and honest relationship eh?

Principality Tue 12-Feb-13 11:33:29

Ask ds1 about withdrawal method...

Ask ds2 about monitoring your cycle... He is a day 8 baby (two days after I finished my period)


SillyTilly123 Tue 12-Feb-13 11:39:45

We used withdrawal for about 9 years, we have 3 planned children and no m/c's or abortions smile However now i know i do not want anymore children (yet anyhow) i have been on the pill for 2 years.

elliejjtiny Tue 12-Feb-13 11:43:58

I used it for a year with no problems [naive teenager emoticon] but my friend used it and got pregnant 3 times in about 2 years (one abortion and 2 children with a 12 month age gap). However I've got pregnant once on the tracking your cycles method and twice on the mini pill so dh is getting a vasectomy.

sashh Tue 12-Feb-13 11:52:35

We have successfully been using the withdrawal method for 15 years. Only one unplanned pregnancy

Not sure that's successfulconfused

I know people who have used no contraception for years and not had pregnancies, that's not because their contraception is working.

ComposHat Tue 12-Feb-13 11:59:40

I'm amazed no one has done the old gag -

'What do you call people who use the withdrawal method?'


Ashoething Tue 12-Feb-13 12:01:46

I am very fertile actually sash-I have been pregnant 10 times in all. I am lucky in that I have a very regular cycle and am able to track when I ovulate.

When I conceived ds2-TMI alert!-we had sex that morning and I ovulated that night while I was out with a friend and I actually said to her "I am going to be pregnant this month"-and lo and behold I was!

The unplanned pregnancy was when dh just went ahead and didnt withdraw-and lo and behold I was pregnant then too!grin

Softlysoftly Tue 12-Feb-13 12:17:16

We've used it for 16 years 3 planned pregnancies, conceived 1 month into trying each time. So for us it works. My sister also uses it and again 2 planned dc. No cycle tracking.

However if I were absolutely definitely sure I didn't want any more dc and couldn't accept an accident then I'd seek an alternative form of contraception.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Tue 12-Feb-13 12:21:03

Generally sperm are only released in pre-ejaculate when the man has recently ejaculated - I mean before having sex again - so there is some remaining in the tubes, which then can cause pregnancy.

But it's pretty unlikely. I would guess that in many cases of pregnancy resulting from using this method it's more to do with their not being precise enough about the withdrawing - either some ejaculate has already escaped before withdrawal or else, removal isn't quite quick enough meaning that a little is released on exit.

Pre-ejaculate would not normally contain sperm though. HTH a bit.

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 12:24:33

oh dear - now I'm wondering exactly how one collects samples of pre-ejaculate in order to establish sperm levels, and on how large a population it had to be done to get reliable results.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Tue 12-Feb-13 12:25:39

Oh actually I've just googled it (as you do) and there was another study in 2011 which seemed to suggest that it can be present...only in small quantities though - so there's some confusion as to whether this happens or not. My apologies, thought I was being up to date and clever grin

sleepyhead Tue 12-Feb-13 12:28:29

If sperm is in a position to meet egg, then the chance of pregnancy in any one month (in normally fertile couples) is 20%.

Assuming no sperm is released (which you can't actually assume in rl) then 0% chance of conception.

Assuming no egg is present because you're tracking your cycle (which you can't in rl, because no method of tracking is foolproof and sperm can live longer than you'd think) then 0% chance of conception.

If it's actually working as a method of contraception (ie better than nothing) then presumably it's a less than 20% chance in any one month.

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 12:28:41

I wasn't feeling brave enough to google it!

BartletForTeamGB Tue 12-Feb-13 12:30:33

Studies show that the withdrawal method is only slightly less effective than using condoms (18% of women will become pregnant within a year using the withdrawal method typically (4& perfect use) compared to 17% of women using condoms alone (2% perfect use))

Neither method should be relied upon if you are very sure you don't want to get pregnant and every single contraceptive method can fail.

I'd say that it doesn't matter how much sperm is only takes one!

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 12:33:29

Bartlet: thanks for linking that - it's what I had in mind when I posted above about how incomplete (and therefore inconclusive) the studies on withdrawal are, especially as a single method.

PooFlower Tue 12-Feb-13 12:33:37

We used this method for 11 years resulting in 3 pregnancies (the first one ended in mc) and I have DD 8 yrs and DD age 1
We only used this method just before or after a period using condoms at other times but I fell pregnant three times, I think those months I may have ovulated twice.
In our case, although we were not actively trying for a baby it wasn't the end of the world if I did fall pregnant and we were happy about it.

I have now been sterilised as we don't want anymore children.

I would only recommend this method if you don't mind getting pregnant. like someone else said it just reduces the chance of pregnancy but won't prevent it.

JingleMum Tue 12-Feb-13 12:51:29


This thread is scaring me! I use withdrawal method sometimes, condoms other times.

I have a period tracker on my phone, i had sex on sunday using withdrawal (2 days after my period ended) is there a chance i could get pregnant? I thought it was practically fool proof blush

Ihatemytoes Tue 12-Feb-13 13:00:10

We've been using it for 20 years, alongside tracking my cycle. No unwanted pregnancies here, butI appreciate that we may have just been extremely fortunate.

nicelyneurotic Tue 12-Feb-13 13:14:22

I know about five people who have had kids this way. One of them twice!

I wouldn't risk it.

Sashapineapple Tue 12-Feb-13 13:16:36

My friend uses this method, she has been pregnant twice in the last couple of years.

GoingBackToSchool Tue 12-Feb-13 13:22:08

I had been with my bf for about a year using the withdrawal method, no unplanned pregancies. Went to Family Planning to get contraceptive pills and the woman there almost killed me when she asked me if i was using contraceptions and i said only the withdrawal method!! Her opinion was that it is definitely NOT a sensible contraceptive.

milf90 Tue 12-Feb-13 13:24:13

We've used it for just over a year with no accidents (during fertile times too). The link you gave us says only 4 out of 100 women who do it properly, will get pregnant a year - I personally don't think that's bad. You need to have complete faith in your partner to pull out on time and he needs to know his body enough to be able to do it.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Tue 12-Feb-13 13:24:26

Is stopping just before "the moment" to put a condom on really more satisfactory than using one throughout and not stoping?

daddyorchipsdaddyorchips Tue 12-Feb-13 13:28:57

I find it utterly astounding that anyone would use this "method of contraception" in this day and age.

If you're just not that bothered about an unplanned pregnancy, fair enough. But if you really, really do not want to be upduffed, fgs stick a wrapper on it or something!

Habanada Tue 12-Feb-13 13:34:10

We successfully used the withdrawal method for 10 years.
When we decided to have a child (all 3 times) I got pg first shot, not even the right time in my cycle.

After I give birth this time DH is getting permanently shut off.

Habanada Tue 12-Feb-13 13:35:23

Oh and just to add, I never tracked my cycle.

chicaguapa Tue 12-Feb-13 13:37:53

I got pg using the withdrawal method. hmm Had it been an absolute disaster if that had happened, I wouldn't have been using it. It's not reliable enough if you don't want to get pg under any circumstances.

scaevola Tue 12-Feb-13 13:39:02

The linked survey quotes one study by Hatcher et al. Here's a fuller version of their findings on failure rates of a wide variety of methods. Perfect use of withdrawal is on a par with natural family planning, has twice the failure rate of condom use, and over half the participants had discontinued it as sole contraception before the year was up. Given the discussion in the rest of the paper about major confounders (reporting reliability and concomitant use of additional methods), I don't think the headline figure can carry much more weight than 'best guess', and would certainly look to the typical use failure rate of 22 rather than the 'perfect' one.

I have posted before about this but dc5 was conceived without us ever actually having sex - dh had "the moment" as you call it and somehow some of that must have made its way to the desired area because i found out i was pregnant 3 weeks later. To recap, this was the only time we were anywhere near each other between the birth of dc4 and finding out i was pregnant with dc5. I was also still breastfeeding dc4 and had not started my periods again. Technically the % chance of me getting pregnant at that moment was probably tiny and yet it happened.

FergusSingsTheBlues Tue 12-Feb-13 13:41:11

We use it. Three pregnancies in three years, all in the supposedly safe period, and with a clockwork cycle. AVOID!

Softlysoftly Tue 12-Feb-13 13:42:45

thedoctrine tmi but we don't stop for condoms we get to "the moment" then withdraw in the nick of time.

Alligatorpie Tue 12-Feb-13 13:43:06

Dd1 is a result of withdrawl method. In my mind, it doesnt work. But i love her to bits!

JessieEssex Tue 12-Feb-13 13:43:17

We used it after DD1 and I got pg (sadly mc'ed though). I agree with chica - we wouldn't have used it had the prospect of another child been an absolute no-no. Am now 33 wks pg (planned!) with DC2 and we will not be using it again after this, as we want to settle at 2 DCs.

DP wants a vasectomy while I recuperate in the post natal ward!

Sallyingforth Tue 12-Feb-13 13:58:07

But doesn't withdrawal spoil the feeling?
What if you are about to come just as your partner pulls out? OK there are other ways to finish off, but IME there is nothing else as satisfying as finishing together, PIV.

aldiwhore Tue 12-Feb-13 14:04:06

Well I have two children, conceived inbetween my usual contraceptive devices, both whilst 'being careful' (which of course we actually weren't being!) on the other hand, we had many instances of being (not) careful where a baby didn't happen either.... it's a Russian Roulette method!

we have successfully been using the withdrawal method for 15 years. Only one unplanned pregancy - how many planned ones?

AmberSocks Tue 12-Feb-13 14:04:06

sallying i agree,i actually find it a bit uncomfortable too when he pulls out,puts a condom on and then puts it back it,im not keen on condoms at all ihate the feel o fhtem,weve tried all of them too.Dont want the coil or anything.

I would like more babies but dc4 is only 18 weeks so would like to wait longer,hmm.

Theicingontop Tue 12-Feb-13 14:07:29

Me and OH used the withdrawal method for three years with no pregnancies, but it was quite stressful sometimes, if for some weird reason my period was late. But we did it with the full knowledge that it was likely to fail, and was prepared for it to do so. But for us, it didn't.

Softlysoftly Tue 12-Feb-13 14:36:01

It's not as good as finishing no but condoms I find uncomfortable and hormonal contraception turns me into a looney so until I'm/he's sure we want no more and get snipped its the best option. I think stopping, adding condom, starting again would be even worse!

Though I may try the coil soon.

NumericalMum Tue 12-Feb-13 14:49:26

How do you use it and it fails three times?? Once maybe but 3 times?
Used it for 5 years, no problems, had planned DC and now use coil as I would not be happy if we had an "accident"

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Tue 12-Feb-13 14:52:07


Mosman Tue 12-Feb-13 14:54:35

I have a niece and a nephew as as result of this particular method, sweet as they are it don't work.

Adversecamber Tue 12-Feb-13 15:20:39

Well I know a very cute 3 year old that is the outcome of the withdrawal method.

FergusSingsTheBlues Tue 12-Feb-13 16:31:48

Numerical, I originally put it down to our high sex drives (in those days lol) or the fact that 30% precum has sperm in it, (maybe hes a leaker) but at the end of the day, its an unreliable method for us anyway.

specialsubject Tue 12-Feb-13 16:37:48

Vatican roulette...or am I thinking of something else?

anyway, sex to the end is fun because that is how the human race is encouraged to reproduce. Withdrawal is ruining the fun with not much chance of affecting the result.

scary that anyone actually thinks it is reliable! OP, the mantras include 'no glove, no love', or 'no admittance without a jacket' . Or the other methods, of course.

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