Posts in: Birth Control Effectiveness

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

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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What Does "Effective Family Planning" Really Mean?

As discussed in an earlier post, Birth Control Effectiveness - How Risky is Your Birth Control?, there is a big difference between Perfect Use and Typical Use when it comes to efficacy. Most people hear Perfect Use efficacy from manufacturers and health providers, but Typical Use efficacy is actually much more important.

Perfect Use efficacy is the effectiveness of a birth control method in an ideal situation. Typical Use efficacy is how well a birth control method works when we take into account how people actually use it in the real world. This is why it's so important to know how effective your chosen family planning option is in Typical Use, not just in a lab.

Of course we're proud of the fact that CycleBeads is very effective in both Perfect Use (95% effective) and Typical Use (88% effective).

Interestingly, efficacy rates can change as new studies are conducted. The chart above shows information from the most recent Contraceptive Technology. Information that was updated from previous editions includes:

  • The pill is now considered 91% effective in Typical Use (down from 92%).
  • The diaphragm is now considered 88% effective in Typical Use (up from 84%).

Posted in: Birth Control Effectiveness, Contraceptive Options, CycleBeads

Key Takeaways from Webinar - Offering Natural Family Planning Methods in Your Practice

Ann Mullen, Cycle Technologies' Director of Health Provider Services, hosts webinar on fertility awareness-based family methods.

In case you missed it, last week we had a fantastic webinar looking at how health providers can include fertility awareness-based family planning options into the range of options for their clients. We were thrilled to have Dr. Victoria Jennings, director of the Institute for Reproductive Health, and Dr. Marguerite Duane, family physician and adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University, presenting on the topic. Ann Mullen, Cycle Technologies' Director of Health Provider Services, hosted the presentation as these experts discussed the latest developments in fertility awareness-based family planning methods, a.k.a. "natural family planning methods". The presenters explored what works, what doesn't, and how a general healthcare practice can offer natural methods to their patients.

Main takeaways from the webinar included:

Posted in: Contraceptive Options, Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control, Birth Control Effectiveness, Fertility, mHealth

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Not All Natural Family Planning Methods are the Same

Good news! There are more effective birthcontrol options for women today than ever before. And while natural family planning options have been around for decades, they have been improved with newer research and advances in technology. The medical community has taken notice and is offering fertility awareness-based methods to their patients much more often.

But not all natural family planning methods are the same. The following infographic provides a snapshot of the scientifically-proven natural methods available to women and how they work. We want you to make an informed choice when deciding what method or methods are right for you so let us know if you have any questions.

Posted in: Natural Birth Control, Fertility Awareness, Research, Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Options, The Rhythm Method

Who Really Uses Natural Family Planning?

We believe women should have access to a full range of contraceptive options including natural ones. Natural family planning methods are often misunderstood or overlooked even by the medical community. But women, and especially educated women, are using them because modern fertility awareness-based methods of family planning are effective, free of side effects and they can be used both to plan and prevent pregnancies.

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

4 Million Pregnancies Prevented Using CycleBeads!!!


Since 2002 CycleBeads have been used by millions of women worldwide and prevented an estimated 4 million unplanned pregnancies. We're proud of the impact that this family planning tool has had in the lives of women all over the world, including many women living in areas with the most unmet need for contraception.

Unplanned pregnancies affect everyone – the woman, her family, and her community. Nearly ½ of unplanned pregnancies end in abortion. And unplanned pregnancies in general are associated with poor health outcomes for the mother, the child, and any living children that a woman may already have; they limit education and cause poverty.

This is part 3 of 5 in this series reviewing our latest infographic

Posted in: Womens Health, Birth Control Effectiveness, International Family Planning, Fertility Awareness, The Rhythm Method, Research

CycleBeads Featured in International and National Medical Guidelines

CycleBeads® and the Standard Days Method® on which it is based, is included in international and national medical guidelines as a modern, effective contraceptive. This includes guidelines issued by the World Health Organization and International Planned Parenthood Federation. It is classified by USAID as a High Impact Practice and included in the premier medical handbook on family planning – “Contraceptive Technology”.

Why is this important? It means that organizations that offer health services can feel comfortable offering this method, knowing its been vetted and validated. 

This is part 2 of 5 in our series discussing our most recent infographic.




Posted in: Research, Natural Birth Control, Birth Control Effectiveness, Technology, Womens Health, Contraceptive Options

Top 10 Facts About CycleBeads

Recently we ran a series on the CycleBeads blog, called Top 10 Myths About CycleBeads. In case you missed it, here is the list translated into the Top 10 Facts About CycleBeads.  To see the original articles explaining  the myths and responding in detail, see the links below:

Fact #1:  CycleBeads is a Highly Effective method of birth control

Fact #2:  Women are Interested in using a natural method.

Fact #3:   CycleBeads is NOT the Rhythm Method

Fact #4:   Women primarily choose CycleBeads for Health Reasons and to Avoid Side Effects.

Fact #5:   CycleBeads accommodates a Range of Cycle Lengths from 26 to 32 days which means most women can use this method.

Fact #6:   Men are Interested in having their partner use CycleBeads and like being involved.

Fact #7:   Couples using CycleBeads Have Sex Just as Often as couples using other methods.

Fact #8:  CycleBeads takes into account the Variation in the Timing of Ovulation from month to month.

Fact #9:  Women generally have No Problem Remembering to move the CycleBeads marker daily.

Fact #10:  CycleBeads is Highly Effective and has been shown to expand Contraceptive Prevalence and bring New Users to family planning.


Posted in: CycleBeads, Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Side Effects, Womens Health

New Video Introducing CycleBeads Online

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

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