So how effective (or not) is "pull and pray", really? :lol - Mothering Forums
Fertility > So how effective (or not) is "pull and pray", really? :lol
Nora'sMama's Avatar Nora'sMama 04:15 AM 05-21-2006
I ask not for myself but for my sister, who confessed to me that she has been using this method with her long-term boyfriend (probably future DH) ever since they have been together...I was shocked! I wouldn't worry about it at all (I would love for her to get pregnant for my own selfish reasons, to have a cousin for DD) but I know she REALLY does not want to get pregnant in the foreseeable future. She does theater and is going back to grad school and has a lot of things she wants to do that are not doable with kids, that she really really wants to pursue before starting a family. I don't think that there is even a small part of her that wants kids right now. She is not using this 'method' of birth control because she subconsciously wants it to fail. I'm sure of that. She's using it because...for her, it has worked so far, and she thinks it will continue to work. She hates hormonal BC and also hates condoms and other barrier methods. So this is it for her.

My sister probably has major fertility issues...she has low thyroid, probably PCOS (has her period very irregularly, other symptoms of PCOS - which I have too) and had PID when she was younger, interstitial cystitis...I could go on, poor sis... So maybe she really shouldn't worry, since even if she were *trying* to conceive she would probably need medical assistance. But I've heard too many anecdotal stories about people who thought they were infertile and then bam, they're pregnant...

So, will anyone confess to using this method, and has it been successful? I couldn't really find anything conclusive on Dr. Google about it...some sites say that it actually can be pretty effective if you always pull out in time (which my sister says is what happens) but other sites say it is basically next to not using any birth control at all.

What do you think? Sorry if this is a strange, TMI question. The other thread about the person's sister and her chances of pregnancy made me think of it, obviously, and my own sister's issue. (Gee she would love that I am sharing her method of birth control over the internet...)

Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 04:19 AM 05-21-2006
I personally beleive that the "pray" part of this method is more effective than the "pull" part of it. I conceived DS without any ejaculation at all (I know the timing because I knew I was fertile but thought we would "satisfy each other in other ways" and then changed my mind in the heat of the moment.)

You might want to get her a copy of TCOYF- if she won't use barriers or hormonal BC, let her learn an ACCURATE way to prevent pregnancy naturally!
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 04:19 AM 05-21-2006
darn double posting fairy strikes again!
Nora'sMama's Avatar Nora'sMama 04:26 AM 05-21-2006
Ruthla, I lent her the book, and she read it! - or claimed to, but she still seems to get confused...she will say things like, "well, I was about to get my period, but I got stressed out so it was a week later than I thought it would be" even though I have explained to her 50 times that the luteal phase, between ovulation and AF, is more or less fixed so she can't be 'about to get AF' and then have something delay it by a week or more! So I have done my best about educating her but I finally have given up b/c I think she's just really not that interested, to be frank. Fertility and anything related thereto are just hazy 'future' issues for her if you know what I mean. I remember being like this pre-TTC - I knew I had PCOS, I knew that it might mean problems with fertility in the future, but I had no idea about the specifics of why this might be so and I didn't really care since it was not on my horizon yet. As soon as I started TTC I got myself educated in a big hurry!

Your story is exactly the kind of thing that worries me! I feel so evil for having a small, selfish part of me that would love to get the phone call telling me she's pregnant...but really this is NOT what she wants so I wish she would be more careful. Oh well, not really my business, even if it is my sister. Love her so much.
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 06:00 AM 05-21-2006
It sounds like you've already done all you can to help her. She's chosen not to use contraception and she'll deal with the consequences if she ends up pregnant.
tinyti26's Avatar tinyti26 08:31 AM 05-21-2006
What about the non hormonal IUD? Nothing to mess with, as soon as it is taken out you can get pregnant they say, its good for like 10 years.
Jilian's Avatar Jilian 12:54 PM 05-21-2006
I've known people who have used it for years without getting pregnant and others who have tried it once and got pregnant. I guess it all depends on the timing and weather or not any pre-ejaculation fluids were released. Some guys tend to leak more than others, and even if a little bit of fluid comes out before he ejaculates - it is enough to get you pregnant.

It depends on her fertility too. If she is having fertility issues then it would be more reliable for her than for someone who is very fertile. But if she is trying to aviod pregnancy then she should seek another method of birth control, or at least start charting so she knows when to abstain.
MamaRabbit's Avatar MamaRabbit 12:58 PM 05-21-2006
Are you sure we don't have the same sister? She's been doing this with her longterm boyfriend and been lucky. And she doesn't want kids. Scares me!

DH and I use this method now. But, I do TCOYF (just the mucus part since I'm breastfeeding and never get more than 2hr sleep in a row). We do pull out on dry days. If I notice that I'm wetter than usual, we use a condom. If I get pregnant, no big deal. But for someone who shouldn't be, I've heard too many people say this method failed.
Jilian's Avatar Jilian 01:05 PM 05-21-2006
a_work_in_progress's Avatar a_work_in_progress 01:13 PM 05-21-2006
Okay, I wasn't going to admit to this, but that's how this one was conceived.

First time without protection. The condom was damaged, and we were already hot and heavy in the middle of it, so we took our chances, he pulled out, and Ooops! He thought he was infertile. SURPRISE! He's not.
itsang's Avatar itsang 02:11 PM 05-21-2006
DP & I have used this method for nearly 3 years...I'm afraid of the hormones in the BCP. I have always had regular periods & have no known fertility problems. I'm not sure how much the pray thing has to do with it...I don't even believe in god.
mothragirl's Avatar mothragirl 02:23 PM 05-21-2006
it works great for us
pinkmilk's Avatar pinkmilk 02:35 PM 05-21-2006
before we got married dh and i used this method. It worked for 4 years.
After we got married we actively tried to concieve and did but lost our baby 10 weeks into the pregnancy. After this i didn't want to ttc again. we went back to our old method..pull and pray. we concieved 2 months later. After baby came we used the pull and pray method again and again got pregnant!!!!Needless to say.... now we use condoms!!!!
texaspeach's Avatar texaspeach 02:59 PM 05-21-2006
Planned parenthood claims that with perfect use it is 96% effective. We do use withdrawl, not exclusively though, and have for almost 5 years. We would not mind if we had an "accident" though. In my single days I would have never trusted it to prevent pregnancy, now that I'm married the tought of a baby is not so bad The way I look at it, yes some sperm can escape in preejac. fluid but consider that a man with a sperm count of a few million is labeled infertile.
Daisie125's Avatar Daisie125 03:08 PM 05-21-2006
I've been pregnant 4 times, one half of those were pull & pray pregnancies (oddly enough, I m/c both of them)

(And.... I'm still dumb enough to use P&P every once in awhile.... *sigh*)
XanaduMama's Avatar XanaduMama 05:00 PM 05-23-2006
It worked for us for 3-4 years before we decided to start being risky... If the man is trustworthy & can control his ejac well, it's very very effective--I read somewhere also 96%-odd. The crucial part, though, is this: you can't use it within **12 hours of another ejaculation***. There aren't any sperm in the pre-ejac fluids (TMI?), but they lurk there if it's happened already within 12 hrs. I'm guessing that rule is what gets many couples in trouble...

We're going to use it again. I'm not happy taking the pill for years and years, and wasn't crazy about the IUD (I had the copper kind). I've heard good things about the Mirena, tho.
savannah smiles's Avatar savannah smiles 05:19 PM 05-23-2006
Our 6th anniversary is this year which means we've been using P&P for over 7 years now with no "accidents." All 3 times we TTC, I got pg the first cycle so it's not lack of fertility that's the issue. Of course, I would use something in addition to P&P if I were deadset on avoiding pg but I'd be ok with another.
Woodland's Avatar Woodland 08:57 PM 05-26-2006
I have been using pull out with my husband for almost 4 years and only got pregnant once and that is when we used a condom and it broke!! Pull out has been very effective for us, he just makes sure to pull out before... ya know.
Nathan1097's Avatar Nathan1097 11:45 PM 05-26-2006
Originally Posted by mellybelly
I have been using pull out with my husband for almost 4 years and only got pregnant once and that is when we used a condom and it broke!! Pull out has been very effective for us, he just makes sure to pull out before... ya know.
That's the thing: It is completely against a man's natural instincts to do this! I can't imagine, therefore, that it would make for very satisfying sex, after a while.
rmzbm's Avatar rmzbm 08:47 PM 05-27-2006
Originally Posted by mothragirl
it works great for us
: We use NFP, but if we DO have sex around my fertile time we use "pull out & pray." So far it's been 100% effective!!
Apwannabe's Avatar Apwannabe 08:56 PM 05-27-2006
I have but check out my sig. lol

The oldest is 8 I was single for a bit after him. but then it is 4, 2 and 6 months.
quantumleap's Avatar quantumleap 09:26 PM 05-27-2006
I second what rmzbm wrote. We've used the "p&p" (though I've never heard it called that before!) for a little over a year. Are now ttc, but it worked for us. We only used it when I knew I was fertile, which really isn't that long in a cycle. I have at least one friend who has used p&p exclusively, and succesfully, for 7+ years. Honestly, the 3-5% effectiveness it looses to the pill and condoms, etc, is more than won back with the lack of hormonal tinkering (pill) or condom nastiness (I think we mightn't have found the right brand, or something). Admittedly, an unexpected pregnancy was never overly panic inducing for us though. Given your sister's fertility history, I would tend not to worry about it. Odd that she is uninterested in getting a real handle on the tcoyf methods, given that she is really motivated to avoid a pregnancy. I'm sure you did, but did you stress the fact that it's a great method of CONTRACEPTION, not just a method for achieving conception? Maybe she has it connected with you and your ttc journey instead of to contraception?
I love that you are so concerned about this - sisters are so special.