Women who drink to excess are more likely to require abortions or emergency contraception, according to new research.
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A study by scientists at University College London, published in the Journal of Public Health, found evidence pointing to a link between the rise in levels of unprotected sex and increased alcohol consumption.
Researchers, who looked at a sample of 25,000 people, found women who drink to excess are 1.8 times more likely to have taken emergency contraception such as the morning after pill at least once over the past year, and 1.4 times more likely to have had at least one abortion over the past 18 months.
The study said the number of people who drink to excess has tripled during the past decade. It added that studies of teenage girls over the past 10 years found increasing numbers cited alcohol as a major factor in the loss of their virginity.
Around 200,000 abortions take place every year in England and Wales.