A study of women aged 26 to 34 has revealed that ten per cent had aborted a pregnancy while they were in a long term relationship.
The high numbers of pregnancies in this age group were attributed to carelessness, with one fifth not using any contraception and 27 per cent having forgotten to take their pill.
And nearly a fifth of women surveyed would have an abortion if they became pregnant now, the research by Schering Healthcare demonstrated.
Using the combined contraceptive pill to prevent unwanted pregnancy relies on the memory of the woman concerned for its success.
Dr Dawn Harper, a women's health specialist, advocates the promotion of alternative forms of contraception for women in their late 20s and 30s who are in stable relationships.
"If women were better educated about long-acting reversible contraceptives, including the intrauterine system (IUS), intrauterine device (IUD), injection or implant, less would be faced with an unwanted pregnancy," she claimed.
Only 17.4 per cent of the women surveyed were currently using long-term reversible contraceptive treatment.
Independent advice on private healthcare