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CycleBeads App Helps Kenyan Women Plan or Prevent Pregnancy with Just a Smartphone

 

As seen on AllAfrica.com

Nairobi, Kenya - Women in Kenya can now prevent pregnancy without side effects using a free smartphone app called CycleBeads®. The CycleBeads Android app helps a woman know which days she is fertile and which days she is not based on her period start dates. This information can be used to prevent or plan pregnancy. CycleBeads is the only app that can be used to effectively prevent pregnancy by simply tracking a woman’s period start dates.

CycleBeads is based on the Standard Days Method®, a family planning method that:  

  • Was proven more than 95% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly in large-scale efficacy trials.
  • Is the most widely used modern natural family planning option in the world having been used by +4.5 million women worldwide in +60 countries, including Kenya.
  • Is designed for women with cycles between 26 and 32 days long

Cycle Technologies, the company that developed the CycleBeads app, is working with researchers from iHub in Nairobi and the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, to test its usability and impact.

“While many mobile-based health technologies are coming into the Kenyan market, CycleBeads is unique in its approach, using the mobile phone to increase information needed to adhere to a natural family planning method (Standard Days Method). I think this app is a great option for women in Kenya who want to plan the size of their families naturally without using hormonal contraception,” says Angela Okune of iHub,

The CycleBeads Android app has already been downloaded by over 30,000 women around the world. Based on pilot research conducted by iHub, the original app has been updated to help better meet the needs of Kenyan women.

"CycleBeads is ideal for a woman who is looking for a way to monitor her cycle. This can be extremely useful information” said, Dr. Nzisa Liku AfyaBora Fellow 2014/2015.

Download the CycleBeads Android app in the Google Marketplace.

For more information about CycleBeads in Kenya visit: www.CycleBeads.com/Kenya

 

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About Cycle Technologies

Cycle Technologies is a socially minded consumer product company based in Washington, D.C. Since 2002 the company has worked with researchers, healthcare partners, and technologists to identify, develop, and make available solutions to address global health needs. www.CycleTechnologies.com  

Seeking Beta Testers for a New Fertility App

 
 
We are coming out with a NEW and exciting fertility app in a few weeks! We want your feedback to make it perfect. Specifically we are looking for:
 
- Women who have used the CycleBeads iPhone app (to track, plan or prevent pregnancy)
- Are between the ages of 18-49
 
Ideal candidates would be available for an in-person 30 minute interview on May 11 or 12 at our technology team's offices in Washington, DC at the Wonder Bread Factory (U Street Corridor). Candidates who can't be there in person, may be considered for a video interview. Qualified participants will receive a $50 gift card!
 
Learn more and take a brief survey here:
 
Please share with anyone you think qualifies and would be interested.

Posted in: Technology, Research, mHealth, Fertility Awareness

CycleBeads Kenya Assets

The below visuals have been developed to support communications efforts in Kenya for the CycleBeads Android app. Please note that these visuals may be updated from time to time. Please feel free to distribute via social media or through other channels. Thanks for making this effective family planning option widely available! 

 

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Cycle Technologies Hosts "Men's Fertility Health" - CT's EduSeries Webinar

Cycle Technologies EduSeries Webinar Recap
"Men's Fertility Health" hosted by Ann Mullen, Director of Health Education, Cycle Technologies, with guest fertility expert, Dr. Mary Lee Barron.

Cycle Technologies recently hosted an informative and timely topic on men's fertility health. Today's webinar on Men's Fertility Health was chock full of interesting facts.

Key takeaways:

  • It's all about the sperm! Healthy sperm, sufficient quantity, and good semen quality for delivery of sperm.  
  • Establishing healthy habits and lifestyle plays a significant role in ensuring a man's fertility health.
  • Men's Fertility Health is an indicator of overall heath and risk for future disease, including potential future erectile dysfunction.

Watch the recorded live eduseries segment here video if you missed this live webinar. Find out specific details about what harms and what boosts men's fertility health. 

 

Below is a quick snapshot of information from the webinar. It's a great list to keep in mind for an optimal fertility diet for men. 

 

Below are a few popular tweets from the webinar of key men's heatlh facts: 

  • For every 20lbs of a man being overweight - risk of increases 10%.
  • for incl. no more than 7% of daily intake in saturated fat, , , low carbs, smart snacks .
  • Decreased quality of semen is associated with #highBMI
  • Scrotal temp is critical. Dangers: laptop on lap, hot tubs, tight underwear. #mensfertility
  • It takes 75 days for #sperm to grow to maturity.

Have a topic in mind you'd like for us to cover? Send us your suggestions for future topics in reproductive health! Contact us at info@CycleTechnologies.com. And, follow us on @CycleTechGlobal to get the latest news, etc.

Posted in: Men and Family Planning, Fertility

Cycle Technologies Hosts CT EduSeries Webinar on Birth Control Options & Effectiveness with Reproductive Health Experts, Dr. Victoria Jennings and Dr. Jeffrey Spieler

Cycle Technologies EduSeries Webinar Recap
"Which Birth Control Method Will Work for You?"
By Ann Mullen, Vice President & Director of Health Education, Cycle Technologies

The birth control method that will work best for you is the method that you choose, not the one that someone else chooses for you. That is a main conclusion from the latest CT EduSeries webinar conducted with reproductive health experts, Dr. Victoria Jennings and Dr. Jeffrey Spieler.  I sat down with them for a chat to find out what methods are available and what you need to think about when deciding on a method for yourself.

Many women are unfamiliar with what makes a birth control method effective. There's the tested rate, and then there's "real world" use. The tested rate is the scientifically controlled result of a test group using a method consistently with no errors for a year. This is called Efficacy. Then there is Effectiveness, which is how the method pans out in real life with typical use.  Usually, the real-world effectiveness is lower than perfect use (which makes sense!), but we learned in the webinar that personal factors can make a method closer to perfect, or less than typical, based on the behavior of the user.  

If you are on the Pill, do you always take it on time? Or do you sometimes forget?  If you use a Fertiity Awareness Method, do you use protection or avoid sex when you know you are fertile?  Or do you sometimes risk it? Studies show that if you like your method and are dedicated to it, you are more likely to use it more effectively. The following chart shows rates for typical and perfect use of birth control methods discussed during the CT EduSeries webinar.

But behavior is not the only factor to think about. What about safety? Do you experience sides effects with hormonal methods?  If so, you may want to think about methods that do not cause side effects.

What about future plans?  Are you a student who absolutely does not want to get pregnant at this time in your life? Then you may want to think about methods that are the most effective regardless of user error.

There are these and other factors to take into consideration when making a birth control decision.   Listen to the webinar to find out more!

Posted in: Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options, Womens Health

Which Birth Control Method Will Work for You?

Check out the "Which Birth Control Method Will Work for You" webinar next Thursday, March 19th from 1-2pm est. Family planning experts will discuss the full range of birth control options from the IUD to fertility awareness and the different factors which can affect how well your birth control method is likely to work for you. 

Did you miss the webinar on Fertility Awareness Based Methods?

Which FAMs are evidence based? Why are FAMs becoming so popular? How do women learn about fertility awareness methods? If you missed the recent CT EduSeries webinar, you can watch the recorded presentation below. 
 

Past recorded CT EduSeries webinars are posted on our Cycle Technologies YouTube channel and also on Cycle Technologies website www.CycleTechnologies.com/EduSeries

Hurray for Fertility and Birth Control Apps! Are Critics Making Uninformed Assertions About Their Effectiveness?

by Ann Mullen, Director of Health Education at Cycle Technologies 
 

With all the media attention lately on family planning apps, it's no wonder we are all trying to get our hands on them.  Everyone wants to have a piece of the next revolutionary idea, and being able to manage fertility through a smartphone app could be the future of family planning and contraception. It is grassroots. It is by popular demand. It puts women in control. It’s high tech.  Data show that women are seeking them out and evidence shows that these methods can be highly effective.  

The reality is that evidence-based fertility awareness methods are effective and backed by years of research and testing. Efficacy trials show that the effectiveness range is 95 - 99% for these methods in perfect use and 80-88% in typical use – on par or better than other user-directed contraceptive options.

Editor’s note: Check out the webinar to learn more about scientifically tested and researched fertility awareness methods. http://ow.ly/JhhoA

 

Interestingly, while more and more women are using fertility awareness methods, and apps are making these methods easier and more accessible, many in the medical community are now promoting IUD’s and implants (also known as long acting reversible contraception or LARC’s) as the first recommendation over all other forms of family planning. 

 

Does anyone else think that a woman's wishes and interests may not be well served when she is being pushed toward one form of birth control?

 

Fortunately, the medical community is beginning to take a first, second and third look at the new, improved birth control apps. Most importantly, women are finding family planning options that work for them.

 

As more women request information, as more women share that information among their friends, and as more women look for viable birth control options, there is a responsibility to provide them with a full-range of contraceptive choices.

Birth Control Effectiveness: What Determines Success?

When evaluating a contraceptive method, the first question you will likely ask is "How effective is it?" It is a critical question, because after all, if you are sexually active and wish to prevent pregnancy, you need a reliable birth control method.  

But you may be surprised to know that when different methods are described as "highly effective," "moderately effective" or just plain "effective," this only gives you part of the story. There are other factors to take into consideration that will determine how successful a method is for you. 

Posted in: Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options

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