b. Coitus Interruptus/Withdrawal. In this method, the penis is withdrawn from
the vagina before ejaculation of sperm occurs. The advantages of this method are two:
(1) no chemicals are involved and (2) no devices are used. The disadvantage of this
method is that the method sounds better than it actually is. Realistically, some
movement of sperm from the penis takes place before ejaculation. Actually, about one-
fourth of the couples who practice this method end up with the female pregnant.
c. Rhythm Method. In an earlier lesson (see para 6-13), the topic of the
female's monthly period (cycle) was discussed. Knowing what is involved in this cycle
allows one to predict quite accurately (for many women) when intercourse could result
in pregnancy. Many women have 28-day cycles, but other women deviate from this
28-day pattern. Various methods (for example, use of the basal body thermometer
(BBT)) have been used to increase the accuracy of the method. As you might think, this
method can be used to prevent pregnancy as well as to plan pregnancy. An advantage
of this method is that no chemicals are used. A disadvantage is that miscalculation can
result in pregnancy. Approximately one-fourth of the couples who used this method
found that the female became pregnant.
d. Spermicide Method. The spermicide method involves the use of foams,
creams, jellies, and suppositories to kill sperm after ejaculation has occurred.
Individuals using this method should carefully follow the directions supplied with the
spermicidal product. In terms of effectiveness, about 22 percent of the couples using
this method find that the female becomes pregnant. One advantage of this product is
that no hormones are involved. There are two primary disadvantages associated with
this method. First, some products can cause irritation. Second, most products require
that they be applied inside the vagina approximately 15 minutes before intercourse is to
occur. This takes planning and is somewhat inconvenient.
e. Prophylactic (Condom) Method. In this method, a condom is used to cover
the penis in order that ejaculated sperm cannot enter the vagina. Hence, this method is
a mechanical block against pregnancy. This method also serves to reduce the chances
of contracting of venereal disease from the sexual partner. In terms of effectiveness of
pregnancy prevention, approximately 10 of 100 couples who use this method find the
female becomes pregnant. The advantage of this method is that no chemicals are used
and the method is convenient. The disadvantage of this method is that it affects the
spontaneity of the sexual act. In addition, the condom may be defective. If defective,
sperm can escape from the condom and enter the vagina. You should remember to
use only a surgical lubricant (like K-Y Jelly) on the condom since petroleum can
dissolve the vulcanized rubber that is used to make most condoms.