Description: When having sex, the man has to take his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. This is intended to stop sperm from entering the woman.

Considerations: This method frequently fails as drops of sperm can already escape from the penis into the vagina before the man ejaculates.

Effectiveness: Failure rate of the withdrawal method can be as high as 15% (15 pregnancies per 100 women) and more reliable methods are advised for preventing unplanned pregnancies.

Natural methods

Description: These methods involve finding out when a woman is at her most fertile period so that she can be extra careful or avoid sex altogether during these times. This can be done by using techniques that involve the woman keeping a daily record of her body temperature for example using a special fertility thermometer. A combination of techniques is recommended to increase the effectiveness of these methods at preventing unplanned pregnancies.

Considerations: These are a natural alternative to hormonal and barrier methods but the techniques used require a significant level of motivation and a clear understanding of how to monitor your fertility. Natural methods of contraception also do not take into account fluctuations in the menstrual cycle.

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