The government’s public health body has recommended that teenage girls and young women be encouraged to keep supplies of the morning after pill at home.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said making emergency contraception easier to access will reduce unwanted pregnancies.
It suggested that the drugs be provided in advance to girls under the age of 25 at high street pharmacies in case they need them later on.
Critics have argued that the move will simply encourage sexual promiscuity among teenagers.
But Dr Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of Nice, insisted it responds to a “real need” to improve existing contraceptive services.
The organisation is also recommending that free condoms in a range of types and sizes be handed out to young people in schools and youth clubs.
It’s advice comes just weeks after the first ever television advert for abortion services was broadcast in the UK.