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Can I Get Pregnant by the Pullout Method?

When sexually active, there’s a lot to consider and keep in mind! This could be whether or not you want to try for pregnancy, dealing with STDs, or choosing a method of birth control. There’s a lot to keep track of, and on top of all that, there are many forms of birth control women use to prevent pregnancy. Whether it’s condoms, the pill, or the withdrawal or “pullout” method. While a tempting option because it is free and accessible, the pullout method may not be the best form of birth control.

Do you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant after using the pullout method? Or are you concerned that you might be? Maybe you’re wondering about the effectiveness of the pullout method as compared to other forms of birth control. Whatever it is you’re going through, Avenue Women’s Center is here to help. Receive a free, medical-grade pregnancy test at one of our six Chicagoland centers. There, our expert and caring pregnancy consultants are ready to offer you a nonjudgmental, unbiased space to listen as well as answer any questions you may have.  

Call, chat, email, or text us today to schedule your appointment!

Pullout Method Facts

Maybe you’re weighing your birth control options and the pullout method seems enticing. After all, if it’s free, it must be good, right?

Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.

  • Because the pullout method requires exact timing, it is actually a very risky form of birth control and it isn’t 100% effective. Even with exact timing, it doesn’t always work out as expected.
  • According to WebMD, one in five couples who practice the pullout method as their form of birth control become pregnant within a year.
  • Another possible risk to the pullout method is that it does not protect against STDs in any way.

Although no form of birth control is 100% effective, there are options that don’t have as many risks as the pullout method.

Considerations for the Pullout Method

Before considering using the pullout method as your form of birth control, it may be helpful to ask yourself some questions:

  • Can I afford other methods of birth control?
  • Am I okay with becoming pregnant if I use the pullout method?
  • What will I do if I become pregnant using the pullout method?
  • Is there a reason I want to use the pullout method instead of another form of birth control?
  • What are the risks involved with using the pullout method?

It’s important that you feel empowered and safe in your life choices and that you make a decision that is best for your health and body.

If you need support or still want information, we’re here for you. Avenue Women’s Center offers a nonjudgmental, unbiased space. Here you can learn about all of your options and get answers to any questions you might have regarding pregnancy, birth control, or the pullout method. If you used the pullout method and find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, our expert and caring pregnancy consultants are ready to partner with you during this difficult time! By offering limited medical services as well as confidential consultations, we are committed to maintaining your personal health and privacy. We look forward to walking alongside you!

Schedule your appointment with one of our caring pregnancy consultants today.



Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.