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Pullout Method Almost As Effective As Condoms

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Authors of a new paper in Contraception magazine say that the withdrawal method is as effective as condoms when it comes to pregnancy prevention. They say “typical use” of the withdrawal method results in pregnancy 18 percent of the time, versus 17 percent for typical use of condoms. The lead author, Rachel K. Jones, told the New York Times that she and her colleagues wanted to publish the paper because the pullout method was being dismissed, and some people had the impression that it was akin to not using contraception at all. She added that it seemed logical to compare the withdrawal method with condoms because health care professionals advocate condom use, even though that method also has flaws. Now, however, some educators and physicians fear that putting out this new message will cause teenagers to abandon condoms altogether. They also point out that unlike condoms, the withdrawal method can’t prevent sexually transmitted diseases and infections. The pullout method is less problematic in marriages and other monogamous, long-term relationships, but what happens when a young man gets it wrong or doesn’t withdraw when he said he would? Can horny teen boys really be trusted to pull out?

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