Experts are warning older women not to ditch contraception in the belief that they are unlikely to get pregnant.
The Family Planning Association said that while it’s true fertility declines after women hit 35, the message about pregnancy and age has gone “too far”.
It pointed out that women can and do still conceive well into their 30s, 40s and possibly even 50s.
But it claimed many older women, who have been inundated with information about infertility, are risking unplanned pregnancies by abandoning contraception.
Julie Bentley, the charity’s chief executive, said women should continue using contraception until after the menopause if they do not wish to have any more children.
“It’s important that women realise it’s entirely conceivable that just one night of unprotected sex in your late 30s, 40s, even 50s can end in an unplanned pregnancy.
“Our helpline receives calls from such women, shocked this has happened to them,” she remarked.
The warnings follow the launch of a new morning after pill that can prevent unwanted pregnancies five days after unprotected sex, compared to three days for the most-commonly used drug at present.