Almost half of women have had unprotected sex or had their contraception fail in the last year, new research has found.
A survey commissioned by Bayer Schering Pharma questioned 1,156 women between the ages of 18 and 35 and found that 44 per cent had unprotected sex, a failed condom, missed pill, or sickness that could have affected the pill's effectiveness.
Sixty-one per cent of these women revealed that they had not taken steps - such as requesting the morning after pill - to avoid an unplanned pregnancy.
Over a third explained that they did not think they were at risk of pregnancy because of where they were in their menstrual cycle, while 41 per cent admitted that they were simply prepared to take the risk.
However, ten per cent claimed that they felt too embarrassed to visit their doctor or pharmacist to ask for emergency contraception.
Research suggests that 85 per cent of sexually active women who do not use contraception will get pregnant within one year.
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