There is so much misinformation spread about the "pull out" method that it's saddening. This is some people's only legitimate option in preventing pregnancy while maintaining a healthy sex life. Instead of showing them how to do it in ways that increase it's effectiveness, we discredit it and tell them to go the pill or use condoms.
People may not be able to use hormonal contraceptives or condoms for a variety of reasons. Some people may react negatively to hormonal contraceptives and be irritable, sad, suffer from frequent yeast infections, or may be at risk for serious conditions. They may lack the funds to get hormonal contraceptives or reliable transportation to pick them up. People may be allergic to latex, find condoms cause too much friction even with lubricant, or condoms may simply be out of their price range. We don't know why someone can't use these options, so let's help them find a way that works for them.
Let's get on to the topic at hand. The pull out method, also known as withdrawal or coitus interruptus, work by a person pulling their penis out of a vagina before they ejaculate. No sperm means no fertilization. Planned Parenthood states that with perfect use it's 96% effective, and with typical use it's 73% effective. What a lot of people don't realize is that they will fall somewhere in between these two percentages. Consider than doing absolutely nothing will result in pregnancy 85% of the time. What's better: 15% or 73-96%? [link]
One of the biggest myths is that pulling out fails due to sperm being in pre-ejaculate, also known as pre-cum. This has some elements of truth, but isn't entirely true. Pre-cum is made by the Cowper's gland, which has nothing to do with and is nowhere near the equipment that creates sperm. Any sperm in the urethra is what's leftover from a previous ejaculation. The sperm can be cleared by urinating. Urine flushes out and kills the remaining sperm.
Pulling out can be more effective when accompanied with other natural methods of contraception. Such as charting your temperature and checking cervical mucus. Abstinence, condom usage, or non-penetrative sex being used during a person's fertile week. Simply not having sex on ovulation days is still a risk, because sperm can live in the reproductive tract for up to 5 days.
Pulling out is not for inexperienced couples, one night stands, men* who can't control their ejaculations, men* who don't know when to pull out. It is free, easy, has no side effects, and good for those who have no other contraceptive methods available.
That being said, if you can get access to and safely use condoms or hormonal contraceptives you probably should.
[link] "Setting the Story Straight on the Withdrawal/"Pull-Out" Method
[link] "Planned Parenthood's Info
[link] "Fertility Awareness-Based Methods"
[link] Fertile vs Non-fertile cervical mucus
[link] Temperature Charting to Track Ovulation