Can You Prevent Pregnancy with the Pullout Method?

“The pullout method—alternatively known as “withdrawing” or “pull and pray” and formally christened in Latin as “coitus interruptus”—is an ancient form of contraception… Globally, it is still one of the most commonly used forms of birth control, particularly in regions without access to modern methods. When performed perfectly every time, it actually has a failure rate that isn’t much higher than that of condoms: 4 percent versus 2 percent, respectively. That means about four out of 100 women who rely on the pullout method exclusively will become pregnant during one year of use…the “typical use” failure rate of [the pullout method] jumps to between 20 and 30 percent.”

—Jen Schwartz, “Can You Prevent Pregnancy with the Pullout Method?Scientific American. May 16, 2019.

The pullout method is not an effective means to prevent pregnancy. You know what method works? Vasalgel and Nexplanon.

Vasalgel is a polymer that blocks sperm in men. It is effective for 10-15 years or until dissolved. It’s been in testing in the U.S. for almost 10 years and in India for decades as RUSIG. The polymer costs less than the syringe to administer it. Since costs are so low, it’s hard to find money to get it through the FDA approval process. Here’s a thought, this sounds like the kind of baseline public health initiative the government should fund.

Until such time that it becomes available, there’s Nexplanon. It’s hormonal, works for five years and can be reversed by removing the implant. Generally, it’s covered by health insurance and costs $0-$300. Without insurance, it can reach as high as $1,300.

Concerned about hormonal birth control be an “abortifacient”? Vasagel solves that problem, and it will show how much of the abortion debate is about embryos and fetuses and how much is about every sperm is sacred and trying to create conditions where more babies are born. If abortion were the only issue, birth control is the solution. Trouble is that the people against abortion also tend to be against birth control, with most arguments using a variant of “birth control thwarts God’s plan.” I tend to believe God also planned for birth control.

More good news, scientists believe we’ll grow babies in artificial wombs within a decade. So, we can all dispense with this reproduction business entirely.