Pull-out, rhythm, coitus interruptus… whatever you call the withdrawal method there’s a good chance you’ve relied on it at least once to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. According to Planned Parenthood around 35 million couples worldwide have done the same, and the latest UN data shows that it’s more popular in Europe than any other continent.
No pill to take, always available and relatively hassle free, it has become some women’s contraception of choice. But when it comes to reliability it doesn’t exactly come out on top. There’s been a new wave of fertility tracker apps recently aiming to creating a safer solution. However, as sperm can survive in the womb for up to seven days, they’re not without their risks.
We spoke to a few women who use the withdrawal method to find out why they’re playing contraception roulette…
‘I often forget to take my pill, consequently using the withdrawal method by default. I know it’s irresponsible but I have a very busy life and forget. I hate how hormonal contraception affects me.’
‘Over the last ten years I’ve tried pretty much every contraception you can name. The pill, the implant, the copper coil, more pills, the hormonal coil and even a diaphragm. Nothing has worked for me. Hormones alter my mood and sense of self extremely profoundly and I just can’t function. The coils were constant agony and I became allergic to spermicide using the diaphragm. I decided to go natural and now rely 100% on a fertility monitor. I have zero side effects and feel completely in charge of my body.’
‘My boyfriend and I used the withdrawal method for two years successfully, until I fell pregnant with my son. These days we use condoms as it’s not worth the risk. You can push it to the back of your mind but somewhere down the line it’ll happen.’
‘I’ve been using the withdrawal method with my boyfriend for around a year now. We both decided to get tested for STIs first, just to be safe. I still feel relatively uncomfortable with using it as a long-term solution, but honestly, it’s so difficult to get seen at my local GP to discuss contraceptive methods that aren’t the pill. The withdrawal method has become the compromise.’
If your contraception isn’t working for you, talk to your GP about your options today!
Article originally from marieclaire.co.uk