What is coitus interruptus and is it safe?Coitus interruptus, also known as 'withdrawal' or 'being careful' or ‘getting out at an earlier station,’ is still very widely used – particularly by young couples, or by people who don’t want to be bothered with ‘medical’ methods of contraception. In 2008, it is estimated by the Family Planning Association that about 4 per cent of couples use it. Coitus interruptus is Latin for ‘interrupted intercourse.’ What happens is that the man pulls his penis out of the vagina before ejaculation. Although this is an unreliable method, it is much better in situations of spontaneous sexual intercourse than using nothing at all.If you employ this method every time, then at least you’re doing something to avoid pregnancy. But couples who rely solely on coitus interruptus do tend to have unwanted pregnancies. Also, they can get very frustrated by having to keep ‘pulling out’ at the last moment.If you want to have intercourse again on the same night, the man should go and pass urine (to flush out any sperms), and then wash his penis carefully to get rid of any seminal fluid. The woman too should wash herself, if the man has ejaculated over her body. Does it work?So, as a method of contraception, it’s certainly better than nothing! However, doctors do not recommend it because:
it's easy to fail to withdraw early enough
there may be sperms present in the 'dew drop' of fluid that a man produces when he is excited, but well before he actually ejaculates.Also, coitus interruptus does lessen the pleasure of sex, because the couple have to keep on thinking about the need for withdrawal. And the female partner may well feel angry or unsatisfied about the fact that her man never ‘comes’ inside her.However, withdrawing before ejaculation is an emergency solution that can be used by couples who wouldn’t mind about a pregnancy or those who feel they cannot use any other kind of contraception. In areas where it is very difficult to get contraceptives (for instance, war-torn countries) 'withdrawal' has often proved fairly effective.However, for people who have access to sensible, modern methods of contraception, coitus interruptus is a poor alternative.