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Contraception neglect: Drink blamed

One in five women who fail to use contraception with a new partner blame drink or drugs, a survey has found.

Some 20% of those aged 18 to 35 have also used the morning-after pill in the last year, and one in 67 men surveyed said they prefer women take the drug so they can avoid wearing a condom.

The research of more than 3,000 men and women was carried out by The Co-operative Pharmacy.

Just over 2% of women (from 1,800 surveyed) had taken the morning-after pill three times or more and a similar number of those aged 18 to 21 used it as their "regular" form of contraception.

One in six of all women admitted having a sexually transmitted infection or having had one in the past.

Figures for 2009/10 show the NHS spent about £2 million on emergency contraception - with 249,221 items dispensed.

Almost half of the women said their preferred method of contraception was the Pill while two out of five favoured condoms.

Mandeep Mudhar, head of NHS development at the firm, said: "Our research shows that some women are taking unnecessary risks with their health.

"The morning-after pill should be a last resort to prevent an unwanted pregnancy after having unprotected sex, or if another method of contraception has failed, such as if you have forgotten to take one of your contraceptive pills.

"However, the emergency contraceptive pill does not protect against sexually transmitted infections."

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