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

 

 

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

Fertility Awareness Methods Are Modern Contraceptives According to Global Health Organizations

 

Global Health: Science and Practice 2016, "Fertility Awareness Methods: Distinctive Modern Contraceptives" 

 

Couples and individuals have the right to decide when they want to have children - if at all. Today, we have a range of contraceptive options. However, with all the options available to us, globally there are still an estimated 222 million women who have an unmet need for family planning. And although significant strides have been made to fill these gaps, having FULL CHOICE and FULL ACCESS to contraceptives is paramount if we are to achieve FP2020 goals or the Sustainable Development Goals or any other goal for that matter. 

 

 

Adding effective, science-based fertility awareness methods to the contraceptive method mix addresses brings new users to family planning and address unmet family planning needs. In fact fertility awareness methods can address many of the reasons that women cite for not using contraception even when they don’t want to get pregnant.

But there are those who question whether fertility awareness methods are actually “modern methods”. After all, people have been claiming to use these types of methods for centuries.

WHAT MAKES FAMS ‘‘MODERN’’?

In a powerful peer-reviewed commentary, the Office of Population and Reproductive Health of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) laid out their technical position for classifying fertility awareness methods as modern contraceptives.  As described in the position, USAID supports FAMs as modern contraceptives because these methods meet the criteria for a modern contraceptive because they:

1. Are effective at pregnancy prevention,  

2. Are safe,  

3. Are based on a sound understanding of reproductive biology,  

4. Include a defined protocol for correct use, and  

5. Have been tested in appropriately designed studies to assess effectiveness under various conditions.

One last note that the authors point out that we consider a bonus is that fertility awareness methods do not require any clinical intervention. 

If you'd like more information on the topic or would like to learn more about our simple, effective family planning solutions, please visit CycleBeads®, Dot®, and TwoDay Method®.

Posted in: Fertility Awareness, Research, Womens Health, Education, International Family Planning

New EduSeries on Time To Pregnancy: Can You Get Pregnant Faster?

Can a fertility app get you pregnant FASTER? Is infertility the inability to conceive? Should I believe the "hype" around infertility? In this CT EduSeries webinar, fertility researcher, Dr. Richard Fehring answers question on how long it takes to get pregnant, what the reasons are, and whether fertility aids, such as fertility apps and monitors can actually help. Hosted by Cycle Technologies Director of Health Education, Ann Mullen.  
 
Cycle Tecnologies conducts a series of educational programs for those in the field of reproductive health, family planning, and global health. CT EduSeries events include webinars with health experts, customized virtual trainings for health clinics and the general public, on-site training in the DC metro area, and live trainings at the Cycle Technologies headquarters in Washington, DC. A vision at Cycle Technologies is for all women to be empowered with science-based, family planning solutions that help address unmet need and, we believe that the EduSeries events help inform our audience of timely topics and conversations in these fields.

If you'd like to participate in an upcoming CT EduSeries, please drop us a line, follow us on twitter and like us on facebook

Posted in: Pregnancy, Research, Technology, Education, Womens Health

Behind the Scenes of the CycleBeads Video Shoot!

Thank you to everyone who participated this past weekend in the production of our documentary-style video. Check out some of the behind the scenes photos! An amazing group of women shared their stories.

Posted in: CycleBeads, Interviews with Health Providers, Education, Men and Family Planning

How Are Mobile Apps Changing Healthcare?

A Woman Using the CycleBeads App for Family Planning

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are changing people’s lifestyles at a rapid pace, including how they manage their health care.  Health care providers and patients are increasingly communicating via mobile technology and many doctors are actually prescribing health apps to their patients for everything from pill reminders to managing their diabetes to using a family planning method (hello CycleBeads!).The development and adoption of health apps has exploded in a short time, and continues to grow with thousands of medical apps available for mobile devices.  Experts forecast that mobile health (or mHealth as the industry is becoming known) is going to change how healthcare is delivered and managed over the next few years.

Posted in: mHealth, Technology, Birth Control Options, CycleBeads, Education

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Overcoming Challenges in Introducing a New Natural Family Planning Method

Women in Senegal Learning About the Natural Family Planning Option CycleBeads

CycleBeads are included as a part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series.  The Global Health Innovation Project at Stanford University series is intended to develop tools and materials that innovators can use to increase their effectiveness in tackling common business-related issues in low resource settings.  The Insight Series looks at companies and products who have navigated these situations and are willing to share their learnings with others.

A number of the issues that we have faced with introducing CycleBeads over the past 10 years, and that are relevant to other innovative health products, are described in these articles. These issues include:

Posted in: CycleBeads, International Family Planning, Womens Health, Education

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New CycleBeads Toolkit - A Resource for Health Providers Integrating This Natural Family Planning Option

An Integration Guide Gives Providers a Step by Step Process to Ensure Success in Offering This Natural Family Planning Option

Attention! Health Care Providers and Health Educators:

A toolkit for integrating the Standard Days Method® and CycleBeads® into U.S. health clinics and programs has been created by our research partner, the Institute for Reproductive Health.  It is a free online resource that includes an Integration Guide, a training course, training materials, instructional videos and more. 

While CycleBeads and iCycleBeads™ are an easy and effective way to use natural family planning, and can be purchased without a prescription, it is important and helpful for health care professionals to have a plan and guidance when introducing it to a clinic or program.  The toolkit gives tips on how to create a positive atmosphere for offering the method, how to train staff to screen and counsel clients, how to procure materials, and suggests other creative ways to use CycleBeads in a practice and in outreach.

The toolkit is available at: www.cyclebeadstoolkit.com

Feel free to download materials to use in your practice and for training your staff. Contact us with any questions at providers@cyclebeads.com.

 

Posted in: CycleBeads, Education

Thank you Melinda Gates!

In a recent TEDTalk, Melinda Gates eloquently outlined why contraception should not be considered a "controversial" topic and the importance of giving people everywhere access to a full range of family planning options.  Thank you Ms. Gates, for your willingness to lend your voice to this important issue... And of course, we were thrilled that CycleBeads were included among the full range of family planning options!

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

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Health Educator Guli Fager – Giving College Students the Sexual Health Information They Need & Want

When Guli Fager started her job as a sexual health educator for university students in Texas, she was shocked to learn how little they knew.  While most students had basic knowledge about contraception, they had minimal understanding of reproductive processes and sexual health issues.  Her concern grew when she realized that not only were the students generally uninformed, they were often misinformed.  She decided to focus on the question, “What is healthy sexual health development?” and how could she convey this question and the answers to the students through programs at the university health center.

Posted in: Education, Womens Health

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