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Posts in: Fertility Awareness

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, and TwoDay 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

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

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 brings new users to family planning and addresses 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

Trying to Conceive? These Five Tips May Help You Get Pregnant Faster.

When we're trying to conceive, many of us drive ourselves crazy trying to figure out exactly when we're most likely to get pregnant. We buy ovulation prediction kits, we download apps that promise to show us our Peak Day, and we tell our partners that they have to be "on call" when we think we're ovulating. It may sound counter-intuitive, but attempting to predict or pinpoint your exact day of ovulation is not necessary for becoming pregnant. And being fixated on it may actually hurt your chances, if you aren't having intercourse throughout your potential fertile window. Fortunately, there are simple, effective guidelines that can help you take much of the stress out of trying to get pregnant.

General Guidelines for Getting Pregnant Quickly

It is helpful - and a relief -  to know that when women target intercourse for the high-probability time of their cycles, they become pregnant as quickly as when they try to plan for an exact day of ovulation. Experts recommend that you have intercourse two to three times a week during your potentially fertile time, so you can be confident that you won't be missing your opportunity to conceive that cycle.  With this plan, most fertile women achieve pregnancy in one to three months, and if you are not pregnant in six months, it's time for a fertility evaluation for both you AND your partner.

How can you identify your potentially fertile days?  

While there are only six days during your cycle when pregnancy is possible (the five days before ovulation and the day of ovulation), these days move around from one cycle to the next and it's not possible to identify in advance exactly when these six days will occur. There are a few different approaches to identifying your potentially fertile days - the three with which we work are Standard Days Method®, Dynamic Optimal Timing™, and TwoDay Method®. Other fertility awareness methods require more extensive tracking, such as taking your temperature daily and checking cervical position.  All scientifically based fertility awareness methods identify approximately 10-14 days as potentially fertile during a given cycle.  

Other Factors

Keep in mind, it's not only ovulation that determines whether you can get pregnant. There are other factors that play a role during any particular cycle, such as sperm quality, receptivenss of the uterus, and so on. But by and large, if you begin by targeting your high probability days, you can take away the uncertainty of predicting when you can get pregnant. 

Ok. So to recap - here's a quick run down for you blog scanners:

1. Don't stress. 

2. Have sex regularly on potentially fertile days.

3. Focusing too much on your exact day of ovulation may actually hurt your chances of conceiving.

4. If you're not preggers within 6 months of trying, then you AND your partner should have a check up.

5. Have fun.

Posted in: Fertility, Fertility Awareness, Pregnancy, Research, Womens Health, CycleBeads

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Seeking Beta Testers for a New Fertility App

 
 
We are coming out with a NEW and exciting fertility app in a few weeks! We want your feedback to make it perfect. Specifically we are looking for:
 
- Women who have used the CycleBeads iPhone app (to track, plan or prevent pregnancy)
- Are between the ages of 18-49
 
Ideal candidates would be available for an in-person 30 minute interview on May 11 or 12 at our technology team's offices in Washington, DC at the Wonder Bread Factory (U Street Corridor). Candidates who can't be there in person, may be considered for a video interview. Qualified participants will receive a $50 gift card!
 
Learn more and take a brief survey here:
 
Please share with anyone you think qualifies and would be interested.

Posted in: Technology, Research, mHealth, Fertility Awareness

Learn about the TwoDay Method! A Fertility Awareness-based Family Planning Method

The TwoDay Method is based on the presence or absence of cervical secretions.

Cycle Technologies has added a TwoDay Method presentation to its EduSeries videos.  Learn about this very effective, simple natural family planning method in a 20-minute recorded presentation. In this episode, Ann Mullen, Director of Health Education, interviews Jeannette Cachan, an expert on the TwoDay Method.

Discussion topics include: What is the Two Day Method? How does it work? How effective is this method? What is the basis of this methodology? 

Stay tuned for a live Q&A on the method to be announced later in October. 

 

Posted in: Birth Control Options, Fertility Awareness, Interviews with Health Providers, Natural Birth Control, Research, Womens Health

2Day - A New Family Planning App From the Makers of CycleBeads

We love CycleBeads, but for women who prefer an individualized approach to identifying their fertile days, Cycle Technologies has launched the 2Day family planning app, the first and only iPhone app based on the TwoDay Method® of family planning.

This patent pending app is designed to help a woman track the only information that is really critical to knowing if she is on a day when pregnancy is possible or not:

1) Did I observe secretions today?

2) Did I observe secretions yesterday?

If the answer to either of these questions is "YES", then a woman should consider herself fertile. It's that simple.

Learn more at: twodaymethod.com

Available on the App Store

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

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

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