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Posts in: Contraceptive Options

Are There Different Types of Fertility Apps?

Fertility apps are gaining more and more popularity these days but do you know the different types? Is an app designed to track your period and moods the same as one designed for pregnancy planning and prevention? Is an app that reminds you to take your birth control pill each day the same as one that gives you information about whether or not you're fertile today? Hint: No.

Let us break it down for you. There are three types of “fertility apps”:

 

  1. Family Planning Apps - Apps that can be used as birth control and for pregnancy planning. These apps are based on one of the few proven family planning methods, including Standard Days Method, TwoDay Method, Sympto-Thermal Method, and Ovulation Method. They require different inputs from users depending on which method is used. There are only a handful of family planning apps. They include: DotCycleBeadsTwoDay Method, and Kindara.
     

  2. Pregnancy Planning-Only Apps - These apps aim to help you get pregnant. They may or may not use a scientifically proven algorithm or method. These apps tend to use a general rule or proprietary algorithm, but it’s unclear which method is being used. They often include features that address women’s pregnancy planning concerns, i.e. nutritional journals, community forums, etc. They include: OviaGlowand many others. They are often confused with Period Tracking Journals which offer some of the same information.
     

  3. Period Tracking Journals - Apps that let you track all kinds of information related to your period and menstrual cycle, and which should be used for informational purposes only - though they may be helpful if you are trying to get pregnant. There are hundreds of these and they vary from the basic to the involved. They includePink PadPeriod TrackerClueEve, and HUNDREDS of others.

 

​So what should you look for in your fertility app? The most important thing is to KNOW YOUR GOAL. If you are looking for an app to help you plan or prevent pregnancy, make sure you know what method it uses and are comfortable with using that method. And make sure it comes from a respected source. 

 

Where do Cycle Technologies’ apps fit into this? Our goal is to provide women with contraceptive solutions that meet their needs.  All of our apps - Dot, CycleBeads, andTwoDay Method, are family planning apps. They are based on proven, effective family planning methods. These methods are designed to be exceptionally easy to use, which is how they are different than other family planning apps. But we’ll leave that for another post.

 

 

Posted in: Contraceptive Options, Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control, mHealth, Technology, Womens Health

Meeting Women's Family Planning Needs in India

Women everywhere want contraceptive options that meet their individual needs. Women in India, a nation poised to be the most populous country in the world in the next few years, are no exception. According to national health surveys, 20.5% of Indian women have an unmet need for contraception.

Of those women who have used a contraceptive method, female sterilization is the most common method used with 35.8% of women having used it followed by the "rhythm method" (15.9%), male condoms (13.2%), and withdrawal (9.3%). Clearly women in India need a more comprehensive range of family planning options. But it's not just about offering more options, it's about really understanding their needs and what they want. 

Posted in: International Family Planning, CycleBeads, Womens Health, Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options, Education

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CycleBeads Android App Launches Initiative in India - Provides Women with a Complete Family Planning Solution via Free Smartphone App

 

CycleBeads Android App Launches Initiative in India – Provides Women with a Complete Family Planning Solution via Free Smartphone App


Women in India can now prevent pregnancy without side effects using a free smartphone app called CycleBeads®. The CycleBeads Android app is the only period tracker designed for pregnancy prevention as well as planning.  Based on research insights, the app has recently been improved to better meet the needs of Indian women and is now available in Hindi.

“The CycleBeads app addresses many of the reasons women cite for not using contraception – it has no side effects, it allows women to plan ahead for their fertile days, and it is available for free to anyone with a smartphone,” says Leslie Heyer, founder of Cycle Technologies…  READ FULL RELEASE HERE

Posted in: Contraceptive Options, Research, Birth Control Effectiveness, International Family Planning, Fertility Awareness

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 info@cycletechnologies.com

 

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

ICYMI: Fertility Awareness in the Digital Age - Takeaways from Global Health Mini University Conference

In case you missed it, check out the recap of the co-presentation, "Fertility Awareness in the Digital Age" with Cycle Technologies, Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH), and USAID. The informative reproductive health session included a discussion on how technology is changing people's access to fertility awareness information and how they're using this information to meet their reproductive goals.

Image: Victoria Shelus from the Institute for Reproductive Health discusses the importance of accurate fertility awareness information.

 

Posted in: Fertility Awareness, Contraceptive Options, Education, mHealth, Technology, Research

It's Here - A New Family Planning Option!

We are so proud to introduce a new period tracking and fertility management app called Dot™. Dot uses the latest in science and technology to identify a woman's conception risks using just her period start dates. Working with data scientists and reproductive health experts, Cycle Technologies developed the Dynamic Optimal Timing™ approach which powers Dot.

Based on the incredible success of CycleBeads, and the feedback we've had from women around the world about this family planning method, we knew there was an opportunity to create a new innovation in this space. Dot works for almost all women*, tailors to your individual cycle lengths, and is shown to be highly accurate and effective. 

To find out more about Dot, visit the website: www.DotTheApp.com or download Dot the app in iTunes here.

* Dot is designed for women with cycles between 20-40 days long who have less than 10 days variation from their longest to shortest cycles. 

 

 

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

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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GBCHealth Honors Cycle Technologies for Its Commitment to Preventing Unplanned Pregnancies

GBCHealth recognized Cycle Technologies as a top finalist in its 2014 Business Action on Health Awards. The company's Solutions for Unmet Need in Family Planning (SUN-FP) program was commended for its impact on global health. Cycle Technologies was honored along with Accenture and Unilever in the Partnership category. Read the full press release here.

Cycle Technologies founder Leslie Heyer receives the award from Global Health Council and Global Business Council Leaders.

Posted in: Contraceptive Options, Pregnancy

Global Health Council Event & Award

We are excited to attend the Global Health Leadership Symposium and Awards Ceremony in Washington DC, on December 10, 2014.

As part of the event, Cycle Technologies and other private sector companies will be recognized for our innovative approaches and impact on global health. Cycle Technologies is a finalist in the Global Business Partnership category for our work with the Institute for Reproductive Health under the Solutions for Unmet Need in Family Planning (SUN-FP) program. The SUN-FP program has given millions of women access to simple, effective fertility awareness-based family planning options. 

Cycle Technologies' founder, Leslie Heyer will also be speaking as part of a panel on Strengthening Community Investment through Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships.

Fingers crossed for the award! Register for the event here.

Posted in: International Family Planning, Contraceptive Options

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