1 in 3 US women using withdrawal method

Almost one in three young women in the US are still using the withdrawal method as a means of contraception, rather than relying on condoms or the pill.

This is according to new research from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, which revealed 31 per cent of females between the ages of 15 and 24 admitted to protecting themselves in this way.

Of this group, 21 per cent were faced with an unwanted pregnancy, compared to 13 per cent of women who used other methods of contraception. It also means they are more at risk of developing sexually-transmitted infections.

Dr Annie Dude, author of the study and resident at the university's department of obstetrics and gynecology, said the survey has showed that the withdrawal method is common, but is less effective than other forms of protection.

"My overall take is that doctors think this is such an antiquated method of birth control that they don't really think to address it with their patients," she added.

The research further revealed women who used the withdrawal method were 7.5 per cent more likely to use emergency contraception.