09/02/2021

Withdrawal

3/5

About the reviewer

Age
26-30
Time used
3 - 5 years
Had children
No
Height
5'9"/175cm
Weight
90kg - 95kg / 14st 2lb - 14st 13lb
Currently using
No I've stopped using it

Experience

I used this method with an ex during a 4 year-long relationship. The only reason we didn’t use condoms was because he was one of those whingy persistent types, who moaned about the fit and discomfort of condoms: “without is so much better” – I’m sure you ALL know the type! We did use condoms at first, but as I’d never used hormonal contraception previously, I admit I was curious about how sex felt without a condom. We were committed to each other, so I insisted we both had a sexual health check-up before I consented to unprotected sex. Our results were a clean bill of health, so off we went, and never looked back. On the whole, the success of the withdrawal method depended on how quickly he could whip it out before ejaculating, which was often very good – he would always call out when he was close to climax. We rarely planned sex, just tended to avoid whenever I had my period. It increased my libido massively as there was an added thrill to just getting down to it without having to worry about protection. That said, there were a couple of occasions when I was unsure if he’d actually withdrawn in time, so I did take the morning after pill once a year on average. Ever since puberty my menstrual cycle was like clockwork: every 28 days without fail. But sex without condoms made me feel very on edge whenever my period was due (which is why I have noted stress as a symptom). Thankfully I used a period tracker religiously so I was very aware of my body and any changes – sometimes my period was a few days late, but it would always arrive. That said I bought more pregnancy tests in those 4 years than in my whole life! More often than not, my ex was very good at the withdrawal method, but, the last time we did it, I was not only feeling very low and run down, I also happened to be ovulating. I saw his ejaculate afterwards, but I’m fairly sure it was precum that got me pregnant. If I’m entirely honest, I am surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

Impact whilst taking

Mood
Somewhat negatively
Weight
No change
Periods
No change
Sex drive
Increased sex drive

Side effects whilst taking

No effects

No effects

No effects

Impact after using

Mood
Somewhat negatively
Weight
No change
Periods
3+ years
Sex drive
No change

No effects

No effects

No effects

Experience after taking

Along with the unwanted pregnancy, I was struggling with some personal issues too; it was definitely a stressful time emotionally, mentally and physically. I chose to have an abortion and started using hormonal contraception afterwards, which was not the “happy ever after” solution I’d hoped for with serious migraines, acne and irregular periods which never seemed to stop. (I have reviewed the Evra patch and Nexplanon implant on the Lowdown all ready). I used both contraceptives over the course of 15 months, and in the 3 years since the pregnancy, my periods are still not “back to normal”, ie. The clockwork pattern I had before. Thankfully my periods are more regular and only last a few days, but my cycle length is more variable, changes each month (which I am assured is normal). In the months and years since, I feel miles happier not using hormonal contraception or the withdrawal method. I am also free of the whingy persistent ex(!) and whilst I don’t have sex as regularly anymore, on the occasions when it’s on the cards, it’s a condom every time.

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