Some couples, to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, practice what is known as “reversing”. They do it thinking that it is a safe measure: if the semen does not reach the interior of the vagina, a pregnancy should not be possible.
According to a survey conducted by the Spanish Contraception Society in 2018, among 1,800 women between the ages of 14 and 49, 1.2% admitted using reverse gear as a contraceptive method (1). But, is going back safe? Is it an effective method of contraception? In the following article, we will explain more about this option, also known as coitus interruptus or coitus interruptus.
What is withdrawal or coitus interruptus?
The withdrawal consists of withdrawing the penis from the inside of the vagina during sexual intercourse before the ejaculation of semen. People who practice reverse contraception as a contraceptive method do so thinking that if the semen does not end up inside the vagina, there is no possibility of pregnancy. The problem is that it is not so easy to achieve the necessary self-control to stop ejaculation when desired, nor is it possible to be sure that no seminal fluid will reach the vagina.
How safe is reversing?
We cannot consider the withdrawal as a safe contraceptive method because it depends exclusively on the man having complete control over ejaculation and the right moment to withdraw the penis from the vagina. With a minimal amount of semen coming out, there is already a risk of pregnancy.
According to the World Health Organization, for every 100 women who use coitus interruptus or reverse contraception for a year, it is estimated that around 20 will become pregnant using this alternative as commonly used. The WHO indicates that, even with perfect use of this method, that is, always withdrawing the penis before ejaculation occurs, it is estimated that 4 out of 100 women will be able to get pregnant after one year (2). Also, going back does not prevent contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In short, for all the following reasons you should doubt the effectiveness of reversing:
- It depends only on the control of the man and just at the most delicate moment: the climax.
- The woman will have doubts as to whether she has been able to completely control the ejaculation inside her, which can cause her anxiety while she waits for the next menstruation.
- For there to be a pregnancy, a minimum amount of semen is enough. In fact, it only takes one sperm.
- On the other hand, in an ejaculation near the entrance of the vagina, some sperm can manage to reach the interior.
- It does not prevent you from getting an STD.
- It can generate frustration and dissatisfaction, since the relationship has to be cut off, many times, interrupting the orgasm.
- In addition, you have to be aware of ejaculation at all times, which makes it more difficult to relax and let yourself go.
What contraceptive methods can I choose for safer sex?
Once you know that reversing is not safe, it is best to use another method of contraception. The first one that we recommend is the condom, it is a so-called barrier method because it prevents contact between the genitals and their fluids. Therefore, it is the only method capable of reducing the risk of STD infection between 80-90% if used correctly and during the entire sexual act (3). As for unwanted pregnancies, it prevents them by up to 98%, also when used correctly and during the entire meeting (4). Other advantages of the condom are:
- It has no hormonal effects for women.
- Using it is very simple.
- There are so many varieties that it has become one more element to make sex fun and exciting. We encourage you to try the range of Durex condoms, with options for all tastes, such as the extra-thin Durex Invisible condoms, which are so thin that you won’t even notice you’re wearing them, the Mutual Climax, designed to accelerate the female climax and delay the male one. , or the Intense Orgasmic, with points, stretch marks and a stimulating gel to provide you with unique sensations. If you are one of those who still thinks that the condom kills pleasure, read our article Does the condom affect sex?
There are other safe methods to avoid pregnancy, such as hormonal ones. They are the IUD, the pill, the skin patch, the vaginal ring, the implants or the injectables, but to use them it is essential to visit the gynecologist beforehand.
Now that you know that going backwards is not safe, we invite you to choose a contraceptive method with proven efficacy that will help you not only prevent an unwanted pregnancy but also the spread of STDs.