A report just released says that close to 11% of women 15 to 44 years old in the United States, who have had sexual intercourse, have used the pill referred to as the “morning after” at least once. That means nearly 5.8 million women used the pill, with half of them saying they took the pill due to being worried their birth control method might not have worked and the other 50% saying they took the pill because they took part in unprotected sex.

The report by the National Center for Health Statistics was based on personal interviews of women. Over 12,755 women took part in the interviews from 2006 to 2010 and of those who were interviewed, 10,600 said that were experienced sexually.

The emergency contraceptive pill was first approved in 1998 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Women can use the pill for up to five days after having sexual intercourse. However, medical observers have said obstacles are in the way of its widespread use such as price and its availability.

The report determined that 23% of females between 20 and 24 years of age, who were sexually active, had used the emergency pill, while just 16% between the ages of 25 and 29 and 14% between the ages of 15 and 19 had taken it.

Of the women between the ages of 30 and 44, only 5% had taken the emergency contraceptive, which the report noted, might be since the emergency pill was not available to this age group during their early years of sexual activity.

The report said the use of the emergency pill was most common amongst never married, white and Hispanic, college educated women between the ages of 20 and 24.

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