CycleBeads Myth: Men won't use this family planning method.
We hear this a lot especially from health providers working in particularly male dominant social contexts. There is a sense that men in these situations don’t care whether or not their partners get pregnant and/or can’t control themselves if they have to abstain or use a condom.
The Truth: It is true that it's important that both partners agree to use this method in order for it to be successful. However, there have been numerous surprising examples of how interested men actually are in using this method. They are often happy to have a method that won't cause side effects for their female partners and the fact that CycleBeads is a clear visual tool changes the dynamic of a conversation about whether or not it's a good time to have sex or use a condom.
One example of the interest level among men occurred in a program in Benin when CycleBeads were first introduced in that country. There was concern that men in this male dominant and Muslim country might not be willing to use CycleBeads. The health clinics were shocked when men started showing up asking for CycleBeads to take home to their wives. The providers had initially planned to counsel women and thought that they would have to give them the tools to convince their husbands. In fact, they had to change their protocols so that they could counsel the male partners who in turn wanted to explain it to their wives.
Recent surveys among US users have revealed that women enjoy having a family planning method that involves their partner. Feedback from users included:
“I like having something that’s collaborative with my husband.”
“My boyfriend has the app on his phone too so he stays up to date as well.”
“My husband likes to know in advance whether it’s a night for condoms or not.”
So, while there are certainly situations where men may not be able or willing to use a family planning method like CycleBeads, we like to give men more credit. In general, men don’t want unplanned pregnancies either and if they understand the method and its benefits, they’re very likely to be willing and able to use the method correctly. Read more about male involvement in this recent article, “Communicating a Woman’s Cycle to Her Male Partner Yields Big Benefits”.