Posts in: Birth Control Cost

In Honor of Earth Day: Green Up Your Sex Life With These 4 Reminders


 Ann Mullen Director of Health Education at Cycle Technologies Reminders on how to Green-up your sex life

Having worked with natural birth control methods for the past fourteen years, we know that besides them being viable, effective methods, they appeal to eco-conscientious people and people concerned about which substances they put in their bodies.  And as one thing leads to another (*ahem*), other products associated with our sex lives have come to our attention.  So in recognition of Earth Day, let’s take a peek at some options and raise our sense of responsibility to a new level. Let’s green up our sex lives!

Here are four things to think about for an eco-conscious and body-safe sex life:

1. Condoms

Did you know there was such a thing as vegan condoms? Fair trade? Cruelty free? Yes, indeed, there is a new wave of eco-friendly condom brands now available.  The Swedish brand, RFSU, was the first vegan condom introduced in U.S. and is available through the Ozone Condom Shop.  There are American brands now, too, such as Sustain and Sir Richard’s.  You can purchase through their websites or at select natural products stores.

How are these condoms different than your run-of-the-mill drug-store condom?

  • • They are vegan, not compounded with animal- or dairy by-products (casein), which are common in conventional condoms.  

• They are not tested on animals.

• They are made of rubber from fair trade companies and sustainably harvested sources.


Bonus: most of these companies have a social-good component, in which they partner with or donate to programs in need. (Pictured: Caryn Thompson, O!Zone owner visiting RFSU factory in Sweden.)


Green up your sex life with these reminders

2. Lubes

For goodness sake, be nice to your tender parts! Things to think about when choosing a personal lubricant:

  • • Generally consider water- or aloe-based lubricants.

  • • Keep away from ingredients that may irritate or even cause breakdown of internal linings or encourage yeast infection, such as parabens and petrochemicals.  Glycerin may also not be appropriate for women susceptible to yeast infections.

  • • Oils may be good for external play, but are not intended for vaginal sex or to be used with condoms.

• Silicone lubes are inert and usually hypoallergenic and last longer than water-based lubricants. They may be desired in instances, such as in hot tubs, for anal sex, or for women experiencing dryness due to menopause, but are not intended to be used with condoms or silicone sex toys, and may not be optimal for all women for vaginal sex.


Examples of brands that adhere to eco-friendly standards for ingredients and sustainability: Good Clean Love; Sustain.

(Pictured: Anastasia Harris, Good Clean Love at Natural Products Expo)


3. Sex Toys

• Choose non-porous materials, such as silicone, that do not absorb moisture or harbor germs.

• Cleaning – use mild, natural cleansers that will not leave a harmful residue that could irritate sensitive body parts

4. Post-play Clean Up

• Again, be gentle with yourself.  Choose mild cleansers, not harsh ones like commercial deodorant soaps.  Diva Wash is a good option, originally designed to be used with the silicone Diva Cup, it is also a gentle body wash that can be used on sensitive body parts as well as silicone sex toys.

• If you’re on the go and can’t shower, gentle body wipes are a good alternative.

Examples are the ones from NatraCare or Sustain.

So think about sustainability on Earth Day, and enjoy yourself!   ;-)

(Examples of eco-friendly products for greening up your sex life.)

If you have questions please contact us at


Posted in: Birth Control Cost, Womens Health, Education, Contraceptive Options

Why Do Women Choose CycleBeads to Plan or Prevent Pregnancy?

Why do women choose to use this fertility awareness-based method?


  • No Side Effects - The #1 reason women tell us that they've chosen to use this natural method, is "concerns about side effects". In fact, over 40% cited this as their main reason. Click here to find out more about the side effects of common contraceptives.
  • It's Effective - Women may not be willing to put up with side effects, but they still want their contraceptive method to be effective. CycleBeads and the method on which it is based, have been found to be highly effective both in perfect use and typical use. In fact, it is the most effective non-hormonal, user directed method in terms of typical use effectiveness. That's why so many women said that the fact that CycleBeads is "effective" was a key reason they chose it. Click here to find out more about our efficacy studies.
  • It's Inexpensive - Women often tell us that they like how affordable it is to use a natural method. It’s not the first thing they are concerned about, but it is a consideration. See how CycleBeads compares in terms of costs to other contraceptive options.

Thanks for reading! This is # 5 of 5 in our series looking at our most recent infographic. Let us know if you have any questions on the information provided.

Posted in: Research, CycleBeads, Birth Control Cost, Birth Control Options, Womens Health, International Family Planning

Does Your Birth Control Fit Your Budget? Compare the Costs of Contraceptives

There are many factors to consider when looking at birth control options, and cost is an important one. If the cost is too high, a person is less likely to use a family planning method for a long time or use it consistently. This means that a woman is more likely to be at risk for an unplanned pregnancy.  Women are especially hard hit by this financial burden, since they are most often the ones responsible for making family planning decisions.  

We decided to look at average annual cost, because it is the fairest way of comparing the relative costs of different methods. A method that requires a one time purchase, like an IUD, may have a hefty price of about $700. However, it can be used for as long as 10 years, which makes it somewhat more economical on an annual basis than one might imagine at first - though we should note that the average length of use for an IUD is likely to be much shorter than the 10 years the manufacturer claims. Meanwhile, condoms are cheap individually at about $1.25 per unit on average; however, the annual cost for a year of coverage with condoms might be a higher than expected, given that they must be purchased for every act of intercourse.  

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

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New Video Introducing CycleBeads Online

Posted in: Birth Control Cost, Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Options, Birth Control Side Effects, CycleBeads, Natural Birth Control

CycleBeads Top 10 Myths About This Natural Family Planning Method: Myth #4 - It's Only for Certain Types of People

Why do women choose this natural family planning option?

CycleBeads Myth: This is just for Catholics or other religious people

The Truth: While this method may appeal to people who have religious or cultural reasons for wanting to use a natural family planning method, most CycleBeads users do not use CycleBeads for religious reasons.  According to our ongoing surveys, the vast majority of women who choose to use this family planning method do so to “avoid side effects”. “avoid specific health risks” and “lead a healthy lifestyle”. Learn more about the reasons women use CycleBeads according to our most recent survevy, “Why Do Women Choose CycleBeads for Contraception? Survey Results Are In!”

Posted in: CycleBeads, Birth Control Side Effects, Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Cost

CycleBeads Now Available Through Maternova to Health Workers in Low-Resource Settings

CycleBeads an Innovative Natural Birth Control Tool is Now Available at Maternova

CycleBeads®, a natural birth control tool, is now available through Maternova, a one-stop shop for products that help save the lives of mothers and newborns. CycleBeads enables a woman to plan or prevent pregnancy by tracking her cycles and identifying her potentially fertile days. It is based on the Standard Days Method®, a highly effective natural family planning method.

Says Maternova Vice President, Allyson Cote, “As the first global Maternal Health marketplace and cutting-edge online community, Maternova is delighted to include CycleBeads in our robust portfolio of leading innovations. Maternova is dedicated to improving the lives of mothers and newborns, along with improving patient outcomes in low-resource settings. CycleBeads is a true innovation that provides a highly effective method of natural family planning.”

Posted in: International Family Planning, CycleBeads, Birth Control Cost, Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Options, Womens Health

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Say "Yes" to Access for Contraception

In a recent article on the Huffington Post, “Just Say ‘Yes’ to Access for Women’s Reproductive Health, Contraception”, Dr. Glenn Braunstein makes several good points about why increasing access to preventative services for women, including contraception, is important. Furthermore he says in the article that “No single form of birth control will do if we want to ensure optimal health for women, a serious reduction in the number of unintended pregnancies, and maximum effectiveness of contraception.”

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

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Can Health Clinics Address a Need with Fertility Awareness-Based Family Planning?

It’s pretty common knowledge these days that there are high rates of both contraceptive discontinuation and unintended pregnancies in the U.S. Could increasing the availability of fertility awareness-based family planning options at family planning clinics help address these issues by meeting the needs of women looking to prevent pregnancy without hormones?

Posted in: Birth Control Cost, Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Side Effects, Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control, Womens Health

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One Size Fits All in Birth Control?

No. One size does not fit all when it comes to birth control. Research shows that the more contraceptive options available, the greater prevalence of birth control use in general and the lower the rate of unplanned pregnancies.

Posted in: Birth Control Cost, Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Options, Birth Control Side Effects, Natural Birth Control

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