Withdrawal or pull out method vs Progestogen-only / Mini pill

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Withdrawal or pull out method

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Progestogen-only / Mini pill

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Overview

Rated 3.6

14 reviews

During or before sex

Frequency

80% - 96%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 2.7

1234 reviews

Daily

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Withdrawal or pull out method ingredients

The withdrawal method (also known as the pull out method) relies on the penis being all the way out of the vagina before ejaculation and ejaculation occurring away from the vagina or vulva.

Progestogen-only / Mini pill ingredients

Main hormones in Progestogen-only / Mini pill

progestogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

There are no benefits that are recognised in scientific research or guidelines for this contraceptive

Period pain

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Real life reviews from people like you

Withdrawal or pull out method reviews

14 reviews

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Still using

I came off the combined pill around 4 years ago after trying many different pills and never quite feeling myself/having terrible clots in my periods on breaks. I'd been told by drs it was the only way to have safe sex from pregnancy and felt i had no choice. The good old fashioned pull out method has been my best friend ever since! Once i spoke to a very wise nurse who told me that i could try the natural cycle way or rely on pull out cleverly. Now i want to say that this isn't for everyone. I have been in a healthy long term relationship with someone i trust and with whom we communicate during all aspects of sex. Because of this we have been able to have all kinds of sex (including penetrative) without any pregnancy scares. My partner is a cis man and i a cis women, and the secret is FULL COMMUNICATION. If he is close to cuming he stops (NEVER ACTUALLY RELY ON PULLING OUT AS YOU CUM NO NO). It's about calming things down on his end when he thinks he'll climax. that means pulling out and moving to oral etc for a while before going again. Normlly this means i get a whole lotta love while he calms down so BONUS!! POSITIVES - I often cum first as it means i always get to cum as he can keep going and we are not relying on one way to have sex. I feel myself! We are more experimental and go on for longer. Its about trust so things feel more intimate, it has led to better communication and much better forplay. This means i cum more often. Knowing my own cycle and getting to know how my body and hormones work. Having sex slowly and sensually, with my pleasure and his both being taken into account due to the fact you can't just have full penetrative sex without thinking. NEGATIVES- he obvs can't cum in me. he doesnt personally feel sad about that. When finally he can't be in me anymore he has to cum using other ways to finish. It means it can be a bit stop and start (personally i think this is fun). You do have to be more careful. THIS IS DEFINITELY FOR PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR SEXUAL PARTNER WELL. ITS ABOUT TRUST. You can't just bang it out like in the movies haha! I do pregnancy tetss every 3 months just in case pre cum has snuck in (it's very unlikely this gets you pregnant especially if your partner is aware of this. but worth thinking about) Overall, Chefs Kiss - but i do sometimes miss he cumming inside me ! BUT WON'T GO BACK

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Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  22nd Feb 24

  •  Stopped using

Only used it on occasion and normally alongside another form of contraception. I don't really recommend it as it feel risky


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  15th Feb 24

  •  Still using

The withdrawal method is really not for everyone. But me and my partner prefer to not use male condoms and I use my Flo app to track my ovulation and period which helps me gauge when is the best time to use this method. As I’m not trying to fall pregnant again right now, and I don’t really want to use any hormonal contraceptives, this method has definitely worked for me but can only work if your willing to take control with family planning.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Still using

I came off the combined pill around 4 years ago after trying many different pills and never quite feeling myself/having terrible clots in my periods on breaks. I'd been told by drs it was the only way to have safe sex from pregnancy and felt i had no choice. The good old fashioned pull out method has been my best friend ever since! Once i spoke to a very wise nurse who told me that i could try the natural cycle way or rely on pull out cleverly. Now i want to say that this isn't for everyone. I have been in a healthy long term relationship with someone i trust and with whom we communicate during all aspects of sex. Because of this we have been able to have all kinds of sex (including penetrative) without any pregnancy scares. My partner is a cis man and i a cis women, and the secret is FULL COMMUNICATION. If he is close to cuming he stops (NEVER ACTUALLY RELY ON PULLING OUT AS YOU CUM NO NO). It's about calming things down on his end when he thinks he'll climax. that means pulling out and moving to oral etc for a while before going again. Normlly this means i get a whole lotta love while he calms down so BONUS!! POSITIVES - I often cum first as it means i always get to cum as he can keep going and we are not relying on one way to have sex. I feel myself! We are more experimental and go on for longer. Its about trust so things feel more intimate, it has led to better communication and much better forplay. This means i cum more often. Knowing my own cycle and getting to know how my body and hormones work. Having sex slowly and sensually, with my pleasure and his both being taken into account due to the fact you can't just have full penetrative sex without thinking. NEGATIVES- he obvs can't cum in me. he doesnt personally feel sad about that. When finally he can't be in me anymore he has to cum using other ways to finish. It means it can be a bit stop and start (personally i think this is fun). You do have to be more careful. THIS IS DEFINITELY FOR PEOPLE WHO KNOW THEIR SEXUAL PARTNER WELL. ITS ABOUT TRUST. You can't just bang it out like in the movies haha! I do pregnancy tetss every 3 months just in case pre cum has snuck in (it's very unlikely this gets you pregnant especially if your partner is aware of this. but worth thinking about) Overall, Chefs Kiss - but i do sometimes miss he cumming inside me ! BUT WON'T GO BACK


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  22nd Feb 24

  •  Stopped using

Only used it on occasion and normally alongside another form of contraception. I don't really recommend it as it feel risky


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  15th Feb 24

  •  Still using

The withdrawal method is really not for everyone. But me and my partner prefer to not use male condoms and I use my Flo app to track my ovulation and period which helps me gauge when is the best time to use this method. As I’m not trying to fall pregnant again right now, and I don’t really want to use any hormonal contraceptives, this method has definitely worked for me but can only work if your willing to take control with family planning.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments


Progestogen-only / Mini pill reviews

1234 reviews

Used for 3 - 6 mo
43 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Still using

I've been on Slynd (Slinda) for 5 months. I've had irregular bleeding the whole time. It is lighter than an actual period but enough to have to wear a protection of some sort. I also get mild cramps with it often. I have PCOS and I feel it has helped my acne a bit but not as much as some combined pills I have been on (Yasmin, Yaz). I had hoped it would improve my skin more. No effect on weight, appetite or sex drive. I sleep very good with this pill but I see loads of quite vivid dreams, which I never used to see (or remember) in the past. My mood is stable with this pill, however I feel like my mood has been overall more positive on the combined pills.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
26 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 days ago

  •  Still using

I couldn’t be happier with this pill. After having a break from contraception and using FAM and falling pregnant twice, I decided I needed to go back on birth control. I initially tried the copper coil but it expelled after 24 hours and I didn’t want to go through the insertion process again. I went to the doctor and she’s said to give the mini pill a go, and I was prescribed Zelleta. I was really nervous as I have previously been in the combined pill for 7 years and it really impacted my mood so I was hesitant to try a pill again, but the doctor told me my body could react differently to the mini pill and she was right. The first two weeks I had headaches almost everyday, and was feeling extremely tired but I think this was down to my body getting used to the pill. After the three week mark they both disappeared. I had no loss of sex drive, I would actually say it’s increased which took me by surprise. I’ve lost around 8lbs and I feel like I have more energy. The only downside for me is my skin (previously completely clear) has had some breakouts but I will take it. My low mood and anxiety has decreased significantly. I was so hesitant to go back on the pill but when your doctor says they’re not all the same and you just have to find the right one for you, listen to them because it’s so true.


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

Lovima has essentially stopped my periods, with rare spotting for 1-2 days (hardly requires a pantyliner), but mostly these only come if I have been late taking a pill (less than 12 hours late but more than 6ish hours late). My mood is definitely slightly better, I noticed it especially after > 6 months. Less side effects than a combined pill so honestly would recommend.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
43 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 day ago

  •  Still using

I've been on Slynd (Slinda) for 5 months. I've had irregular bleeding the whole time. It is lighter than an actual period but enough to have to wear a protection of some sort. I also get mild cramps with it often. I have PCOS and I feel it has helped my acne a bit but not as much as some combined pills I have been on (Yasmin, Yaz). I had hoped it would improve my skin more. No effect on weight, appetite or sex drive. I sleep very good with this pill but I see loads of quite vivid dreams, which I never used to see (or remember) in the past. My mood is stable with this pill, however I feel like my mood has been overall more positive on the combined pills.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
26 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 days ago

  •  Still using

I couldn’t be happier with this pill. After having a break from contraception and using FAM and falling pregnant twice, I decided I needed to go back on birth control. I initially tried the copper coil but it expelled after 24 hours and I didn’t want to go through the insertion process again. I went to the doctor and she’s said to give the mini pill a go, and I was prescribed Zelleta. I was really nervous as I have previously been in the combined pill for 7 years and it really impacted my mood so I was hesitant to try a pill again, but the doctor told me my body could react differently to the mini pill and she was right. The first two weeks I had headaches almost everyday, and was feeling extremely tired but I think this was down to my body getting used to the pill. After the three week mark they both disappeared. I had no loss of sex drive, I would actually say it’s increased which took me by surprise. I’ve lost around 8lbs and I feel like I have more energy. The only downside for me is my skin (previously completely clear) has had some breakouts but I will take it. My low mood and anxiety has decreased significantly. I was so hesitant to go back on the pill but when your doctor says they’re not all the same and you just have to find the right one for you, listen to them because it’s so true.


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

Lovima has essentially stopped my periods, with rare spotting for 1-2 days (hardly requires a pantyliner), but mostly these only come if I have been late taking a pill (less than 12 hours late but more than 6ish hours late). My mood is definitely slightly better, I noticed it especially after > 6 months. Less side effects than a combined pill so honestly would recommend.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
20 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

The only side effect I had on this pill was the irregular bleeding. It worked for the first 2 months and then I just bled for the next 4 months (until I stopped). I suffer from VERY painful periods and even when I wasn’t bleeding or it was really light I can recall having 3 huge pain episodes that would last a few days. The pill didn’t affect my mood, but the side effects did because I had to spend nearly all summer inside because of the anxiety and depression. Aswell because of the bleeding I lost interest in sex (again, not caused by the pill directly). Overall I’m disappointed this method didn’t work. If I didn’t have bleeding and unexpected cramps this would’ve been perfect.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Took this for 7 weeks and my mood has rapidly declined over the last two weeks. Any inconvenience that I’d usually be able to brush off or get over seems to leave my crying uncontrollably. Anxiety levels are higher than normal for me. The two periods that I had while on the pill were definitely longer lasting, would usually be 5 days max but last one was 8 days (although light towards the end). Stopping today because of the depressive thoughts


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
25 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

Granted I suffer with anxiety and depression anyway but it was under control and I hadn’t had panic attacks in a year when I was off birth control. I started this in January and at first I felt great, I had more energy, little bit of bloating but that went and no changes really at all. By month 2 I noticed I was getting panic attacks again and felt very anxious in safe places/ around safe people where I have never experienced anxiety before. I am now on month 4 and it is worse than ever, I am irritable, angry, emotional, low body image, finding myself not wanting to do anything. I am coming off this pill now and trying another because I want to be myself again.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
30 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

I have PCOS, so I don't have periods normally as is and hormonal birth control effects me differently. My review is for the other PCOS girlies who have amenorrhea (lack of/no menses). I started cramping almost immediately. I take the pill at noon everyday, and the cramping sets in 30 minutes later. It is worse at night before bed. As far as emotional side effects, I've noticed I am more apathetic than usual, but otherwise fine.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
18 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Still using

The main side effect I experienced at the beginning of taking this pill was nausea, mainly after I had taken the pill but also throughout the day to the point where I thought I could be pregnant but it has subsided. I have started getting very irregular periods and regular spotting but I don’t really mind it too much, generally they’re a lot lighter and not painful. I have gotten a few more breakouts but they’re quite small, and could be due to other factors - do not let this put you off this pill. In terms of mood I have been crying more but not necessarily because I’m sadder at all? just out of happiness etc haha. No impact at all on sex drive etc yes. Overall a pretty good experience so far (but don’t want to jinx it)


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
27 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I started this pill after being advised to come off the COCP. It gave me severe cystic acne on my body and face which caused pain and low self-confidence, it also caused very frequent UTI's (which I never had before taking this pill) and issues with the skin of my vulva (burning/dryness/pain) which even consultants could not diagnose or treat. I ended up coming off this pill and going back onto the COCP and all my symptoms went away.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
40 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  3 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Noriday worked well for me with regards to my mental health. I didn't notice any major change, unlike other progesterone only pills. However, I had UTIs constantly for the whole time I was on it. I've been off Noriday for a week and my bladder feels back to normal!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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