One in 10 women who found themselves possibly facing an unexpected pregnancy in the last year were too embarrassed to ask their pharmacist or GP for emergency contraception, according to a survey.
A poll of 1,156 UK women aged 18 to 35 found almost half had either had unprotected sex or experienced contraception failure over the last 12 months.
Of these women almost two-thirds, (61%), said they did not take any steps to avoid an unplanned pregnancy.
Asked why they did not seek emergency contraception in the form of the morning-after pill, 36% said they did not think they were at a high risk of pregnancy due to where they were at in their menstrual cycle.
Despite this figure, 81% reported they thought they could get pregnant at any stage in their cycle.
Two in five women, (41%), were prepared to take the risk while one in 10 felt embarrassed about asking for emergency contraception.
A quarter, (24%), were worried about an ensuing pregnancy right up until their next period, while 14% felt bad for getting themselves in a situation where they had unprotected sex or their contraception failed.
The poll was commissioned by Bayer Schering Pharma.
"I can appreciate why some women feel the way they do post unprotected sexual intercourse, the turmoil not to mention the guilt. Perhaps extending the venue for availability of the morning after. Discipline does not always apply to all equally." - V Henry, N15