Coitus Interruptus

Definition - What does Coitus Interruptus mean?

Coitus interuptus is a birth control tactic that involves pulling the penis out of the vagina during intercourse, not ejaculating inside of the woman's vagina. This tactic is supposed to keep sperm from entering the woman’s body, eliminating the chance of fertilization.

While this method of pregnancy prevention is free, it statistically does not offer a high level of efficacy. When performed perfectly, coitus interuptus is effective over 95% of the time. However, when only used correctly some of time, coitus interuptus results in pregnancy nearly 30% of the time. It also does not protect from sexually transmitted disease.

Coitus interuptus is also referred to as the “pull out method” or “withdraw method.”

FertilitySmarts explains Coitus Interruptus

The rate of effectiveness of coitus interuptus relies on the man recognizing his sexual progression and exercising a high amount of control. Male ejaculation reaches a “point of no return,” meaning it cannot be avoided, slowed down, or stopped. Without mindfulness of this point during the height of intercourse, successful coitus interuptus is difficult to manage.

Additionally, a liquid called pre-ejaculate is expelled from the penis prior to orgasm and ejaculation. Pre-ejaculate itself does not contain sperm. However, if sperm remain in the urethra from a prior ejaculation, the pre-ejaculate can carry that sperm in the vaginal canal, depositing it in a woman’s body.

Coitus interuptus is most effective when combined with another type of fertility awareness method, including the symptothermal method (STM) or cervical mucus method.

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