Posts in: Contraceptive Options
The CycleBeads® website has a handy online self-screener to help you determine whether you can use CycleBeads as your contraceptive method. Here are the questions to consider, but make sure to use the self-screener to find out what the advice is for your answers...
Ten years ago, only 7% of women in Rwanda were using a family planning method and women were giving birth to an average of six children during their lifetimes. The introduction of the Standard Days Method® using CycleBeads® has had a huge impact.
The video below features interviews with health workers as well as with users. It looks at the the impact that this family planning tool is having on the lives of women and couples in Rwanda.
What's the best way to learn about all the effective birth control methods available? Seeing all the options in one place is a great place to start. Some health clinics and many health educators use birth control kits to show patients the wide range of contraceptives. In addition to contraceptive samples for hands-on demonstration, kits can also include anatomy charts and other important sexual health information.
Posted in: Contraceptive Options
The recent CDC Report included information that shocked some people - the more educated a woman is, the more likely it is that she will have ever used a calendar-based family planning method! The report also showed that more educated women are also more likely to use symptoms-based family planning methods such as basal body temperature (BBT) and cervical mucus.
According to the Centers for Disease Report, 28.2% of highly educated women (women with a master's degree or higher) are likely to have used a “calendar-based” method compared to 12.6% of women with less than a high school diploma. They also reported that 11.9% of highly educated women had used a symptoms-based natural method compared to only 2.9% of women who had not graduated from highschool.
Virtually all sexually experienced women in the United States have used at least one form of contraception in their lifetimes, according to a report released by the CDC earlier this year. And the most commonly used contraception is the pill with 4 out of 5 women using it at some point in their lives.
But of the 45 million women who have ever used the pill, 30% discontinued use because of dissatisfaction. And almost half of the women using other hormonal contraception methods such as Depo-Provera (46%) and the contraceptive patch (49%) discontinue use due to dissatisfaction.
The CycleBeads products are the only tools for using the Standard Days Method of family planning.
They are all:
- proven effective
- easy to use
Which one would you most prefer to use? Take our quick survey!
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.
CycleBeads® and the Standard Days Method® on which it is based are included as a contraceptive option that can help address worldwide family planning needs in a special series on Impatient Optimists, a blog created by The Gates Foundation. The series, called “What’s Your Method?” looks at different family planning technologies and asks experts to write articles explaining these technologies, their benefits, and the challenges with making them available to women globally.
The article, "Keeping An Open Mind: What the Evidence Tells Us About the Standard Days Method" by Victoria Jennings, PhD, and Elaine Murphy, PhD. looks at research which shows that this highly effective fertility awareness-based method attracts new users to family planning and is especially attractive to women and couples who normally wish to avoid hormonal and surgical methods. The Standard Days Method has brought significant numbers of new users to family planning in developing countries and has addressed a number of associated issues in a positive way.
As stated on the Impatient Optimist blog, “Not every method is right for every woman. A variety of [family planning] options must be available for each woman to find the best fit for her and her family.”
We couldn’t agree more!
CycleBeads Myth: You can't have sex often using this method.
Many people look at CycleBeads and since they see that there are 12 days that are indicated as fertile days, they think that people must not have much sex when using this method.
The Truth: Let’s be clear. Couples can have sex during the fertile days, but if they don’t want to become pregnant, they should use a back-up method such as condoms. Interestingly research has shown that even when couples using this method are abstaining during the fertile days they have sex just as often as other couples, they just time it differently during a woman’s cycle.
A 2005 study conducted by researchers at Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health found that couples who use fertility awareness-based methods of family planning and specifically CycleBeads to prevent pregnancy engage in more frequent sex before and after the fertile time, and have less sex during fertile days. Frequency of intercourse over the course of a woman’s entire cycle is comparable to those of couples using other methods of family planning.
"I am a women's health graduate student in Boston and a classmate who works in the family planning field shared the joys of CycleBeads. I began using my CycleBeads not for family planning but to track the symptoms of my disease, endometriosis. Because of a blood clot on my lungs last summer I am no longer able to take hormonal birth control. Now, with CycleBeads I am able to know when my symptoms (specifically pain) are worse. I am grateful to CycleBeads for helping me navigate this new path of my journey with endometriosis."