Don’t go back to the 1800s with your contraception (Picture: Netflix/Getty)
Unfortunately, *the discourse* around new period drama Bridgerton has reached fever pitch, with talk on its toxic relationships and manipulative dynamics everywhere you look online.
Hopefully you’re not about to copy the messy romances and questionable moral codes of the characters. Beyond that, though, we have to add to the conversation to say we hope you’re not planning on the same methods of contraception.
One of the main storylines in Bridgerton focuses on the Duke of Hastings, Simon Bassett, and his wife Daphne Bridgerton – and Simon’s ‘pull out game’.
Each time they have sex, he pulls out before ejaculating to ensure Daphne doesn’t fall pregnant.
While the reasoning behind that is probably more to do with the unavailability of packets of Durex in 1813 (rather than a preference for this technique) it’s still worth noting that it’s not something anybody should be doing as their main form of contraception.
Yes, the Bridgerton cast have steamy and covetable sex in massive romantic libraries, but they also ‘exist’ in a time where there was no other option when it came to preventing pregnancy.
The pull out method – also known a coitus interruptus – involves the person with the penis removing it from the vagina before ejaculating, with the theory being that no semen will then be deposited in order to fertilise an egg.
That theory is wrong.
Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital states: ‘”Pulling out” or withdrawing before the man ejaculates or “comes” is not a reliable method of contraception.
‘This is because, some ejaculate (fluid that contains sperm) may be released before the man actually ejaculates and this can lead to pregnancy.’
Pre-cum, or Cowper’s fluid, still contains sperm, so even if you use the withdrawal method before orgasm there’s still a chance that your partner could become pregnant.
One study found that 27% of those using just the withdrawal method became pregnant within one year (moving up to 43% after three years). This is compared to fewer than 1% each for those using an IUD or contraceptive implant.
Other studies looking into how many sperm can be found in Cowper’s fluid found that as many as 37% of people’s pre-ejaculate fluid contained between a million and 35 million sperm.
Coitus interruptus also won’t protect from sexually transmitted infections, so is not suitable for those with multiple partners or who haven’t had a recent STI check-up.
Having an orgasm is an emotional and special moment. Don’t make that wonderful time fraught and stressful by placing all your contraceptive needs in an unreliable method – particularly one that rests on the reflexes of someone whose brain and body is filling with reaction-time reducing endorphins.
That’s all there is to it, really. We’ll give the Bridgerton lot a free pass for living in a time before latex.
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