We all know the basic concept of birth control. The purpose: Lower your risk of pregnancy by as much as humanly possible.
Of course, no form of contraception is foolproof. But if you put the condom on properly (and choose the right one), take your pill regularly, and generally use birth control correctly, your chances of getting knocked up are indeed significantly lower.
But not using any barrier (literal or hormonal) and just trusting he’ll pull out before any of his swimmers have made their way out and upstream? Well, there’s a reason they call it “pull and pray.”
Yet a shocking number of women are relying on what is the contraceptive equivilant of keeping your fingers crossed. A new survey from Glow, a menstrual cycle tracking app, found that 18 percent of women use the withdrawal method as their primary form of birth control.
Other research suggests the number may be even higher: A 2013 study from Duke found that 31 percent of women have used pulling out as their primary form of contraception at least once, while the CDC estimates that 60 percent of women have done so. And that same Glow survey found that pulling out was the third most popular form of birth control—more than an IUD!
Is It Legit?
“People do think of this as being contraception—but it’s not,” says Lauren F. Streicher, M.D., clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University and author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health…