One in three Scottish pregnancies carried to full term are unplanned and emergency contraception is unlikely to affect this, according to a new study.
Researchers questioned 2,908 women attending an Edinburgh hospital for antenatal care and 907 attending for an abortion.
They found that one in three pregnancies which the mother planned to continue were not clearly intended, while one in ten were totally unintended.
Emergency contraception was used by 11.8% women who requested an abortion but only 1% of those who planned to continue pregnancy.
The author Anna Glasier, of NHS Lothian?s family planning service and the University of Edinburgh, commented: 'We need to find ways to raise awareness of the real risks of pregnancy associated with lack of use of contraception or with incorrect or inconsistent use.
The Lancet; 368:1782-1787