Earlier this year, the U.S. teen birth rate hit an all-time low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Now we might know why: Nearly 100 percent of teenage women who are having sex are using some form of birth control, a new CDC report concludes.
Young couples aren’t the only ones relying on this route. After interviewing more than 22,000 men and women aged 15 to 44 between 2006 and 2010, CDC researchers found that 60 percent of those women also reported using withdrawal as a form of contraception.
In both cases, this means that 60 percent of women probably trusted their partner to use withdrawal perfectly, meaning they pulled out during sex before ejaculating so no semen got anywhere near her vagina. Done right, this method can actually be super effective in preventing pregnancy.
In fact, couples who use the pull out method perfectly have only a 4 percent chance of becoming pregnant within a year, according to Princeton University research.
But pulling out at exactly the right moment every single time isn’t always easy for the average guy—let alone an inexperienced teen. More commonly, guys fall back on the “typical use” withdrawal method, or pulling out too late. Doing it this way raises your pregnancy risk to 22 percent.
Plus, even if all goes smoothly, you still release pre-ejaculate during sex, which can hold a small amount of sperm—and all you need is one eager swimmer to make its way up there to spike your fatherhood risk significantly. Both condoms and birth control pills have lower failure rates, according to the CDC, but if you and your partner both prefer pulling out, here’s what you can do to gain better control during sex.
Just keep in mind that pulling out doesn’t protect you from sexually transmitted diseases—and STD rates are higher than ever. You still need to wrap it up if you want to protect yourself on that front. We recommend Trojan Ultra Ribbed Ecstasy condoms, but every guy is different. Click here to find the best condom for you.