An expert has warned that over the counter contraceptive pills may not be as effective as expected in preventing unwanted pregnancies.
Sarah Jarvis from the Royal College of Physicians said that one of the main reasons behind the high rates of unintended teenage pregnancies in the UK is lack of daily compliance with taking oral contraceptives.
Previous studies have shown that nearly 50 percent of all women taking the oral contraceptive pill miss one or more pills in each cycle, and nearly a quarter missed two or more.
These women are three times more likely to get pregnant unintentionally than those who take the pill consistently.
Jarvis said that the availability of emergency contraception without prescription has done little to change the rate of teenage pregnancies.
According to her, the solution lies in long acting reversible contraceptives such as the coil, or those, which can be placed under the skin or injected.
She added that they last between three months and three years, and because they are not dependent on patients taking them correctly, are much more reliable than oral contraceptives.
"Increased uptake of reliable, non user-dependent methods, rather than making a potentially unreliable method of contraception more easily available, has to be the key," the British Medical journal quoted her, as saying.
The study is published on bmj.com.