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Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor from Planned Parenthood Federation of America's National Director of Education Initiatives

Kantor, Leslie MPH

Author Information
Sexually Transmitted Diseases: July 2011 - Volume 38 - Issue 7 - p 675
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31821fd870
  • Free

To the Editor:

I am writing to clear up a misconception in Irene A. Doherty and Gretchen S. Stuart's April letter (“Coitus Interruptus Is Not Contraception”). Planned Parenthood Federation of America is one of many sexual health organizations that do acknowledge withdrawal as a viable option for contraception—especially when no other option is at hand. We have included this important option in our print and online materials since 1990.1 We agree with the World Health Organization that coitus interruptus is useful for couples:

  • who are highly motivated and able to use this method effectively;
  • with religious or philosophical reasons for not using other methods of contraception;
  • who need contraception immediately and have entered into a sexual act without alternative methods available;
  • who need a temporary method while awaiting the start of another method.2

Our education programs, medical guidelines, and client information reflect the fact that in actual use, withdrawal's efficacy is similar to barrier methods of contraception.3

For these reasons, Planned Parenthood educators and clinicians include withdrawal when offering our clients the full range of contraceptive options.

Leslie Kantor, MPH

National Director of Education Initiatives

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

New York, NY


1. Knowles J. Facts About Birth Control. New York, NY: Planned Parenthood Federation of America; 1990.
2. Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization. Coitus Interruptus. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use — Third Edition. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2004.
3. Kowal D. Coitus Interruptus (Withdrawal). In: Robert A, Hatcher, et al, eds. Contraceptive Technology—19th Revised Edition. New York, NY: Ardent Media; 2007.
© Copyright 2011 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association