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Posts in: Natural Birth Control

What to Do When You Absolutely DO NOT Want to Get Pregnant

When I decided to try CycleBeads, I was really nervous. I was just starting grad school and my husband was just finishing. We were both students and getting pregnant would have been a nightmare. 

I know a lot of women in my situation would have said that I should use an IUD or the pill, but I've tried both and it did not go well. With the IUD I had terrible cramping and bled. With the pill, I was sick ALL THE TIME. Seriously - every minute of the day. It felt like an impossible situation. 

Posted in: Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control, CycleBeads, Pregnancy, Womens Health, Birth Control Side Effects

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Attention Healthcare Providers! CycleBeads Training Webinar, April 8

CycleBeads Heathcare Provider Training Webinar

Please join us for a live CycleBeads Webinar: Introductory Training for Healthcare Providers on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. ET/11:00 a.m. PT. Register now!

This is a one-hour webinar designed for healthcare professionals who are interested in finding out about CycleBeads and the Standard Days Method (a fertility awareness-based method) and how to offer it to patients. . . . .

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

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CycleBeads Responds to The Atlantic Article on Natural Methods of Contraception

A recent article in The Atlantic "The New Old-School Birth Control" outlines the complicated and challenging environment for fertility awareness-based methods.  The article does a good job describing the many barriers that make it difficult for women in the U.S. to find out about natural methods and get the support they need to use them. But we disagree with the author's premise that "tracking fertility effectively is more complicated than just counting days" and that she dismisses "calendar-based methods" as "just the rhythm method". 

The Standard Days Method®, the family planning method on which CycleBeads® tools are based, is a calendar-based natural method and it actually addresses many of the barriers to acceptance that the article describes for other fertility awareness-based methods.

Posted in: Birth Control Options, Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control, Womens Health, CycleBeads

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Thinking About Using CycleBeads? Screen Yourself!

Screen yourself to see if CycleBeads is the right family planning method for you.

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...

Posted in: Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options, CycleBeads, Natural Birth Control

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Watch the Plan or Prevent Pregnancy Webinar

If you missed the webinar on How to Plan or Prevent Pregnancy Naturally, you can see the recorded video below. The presentation reviews different fertility awareness-based family planning methods and looks in depth at the Standard Days Method, how it was developed, how it works, who can use it, and how the CycleBeads tools can make it especially easy to use this natural family planning method.

Posted in: Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control, Research

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Tomorrow is the How to Plan or Prevent Pregnancy Naturally Webinar

There is still time to register for the "How to Plan or Prevent Pregnancy Naturally" webinar tomorrow at 1pm ET/10am PT. Get answers to all of your questions about fertility awareness-based family planning methods in general and the Standard Days Method® and CycleBeads® in particular. 

For more information and to register, click here

Or visit:


Posted in: Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control, Womens Health

Natural Family Planning vs. Fertility Awareness - Is There A Difference?

"If you tell someone you use a 'natural family planning' method they often have a different reaction than if you tell them you are using 'fertility awareness'" says Kate Abrams. Kate has been using the Standard Days Method® with CycleBeads® for years and told us that she always thought of the terms as interchangeable, but over time she has found that people often respond differently to the words she uses.

"When I told my doctor a few years ago that I was using a natural family planning method she asked if it was 'because of my faith'. I was surprised since my religion doesn't have anything to do with my decision to use a natural method." she says. "When I told a friend I was using 'fertility awareness' for birth control, she immediately understood that this was about knowledge and just understanding my body.

At first I thought it might just be those two individuals, but after talking to different people over the years I've definitely found there's a difference. 'Natural family planning' is often associated with religion while 'fertility awareness' seems to make people think of empowerment. But way more people understand the term 'natural family planning" than understand 'fertility awareness' so I often end up using both."

We've seen this difference in perception too, and while the terms "natural family planning" and "fertility awareness" generally mean the same thing, it's important to know that to some people they convey different meanings. 

Thanks for sharing your story Kate.

See an earlier article on this topic here: Natural Family Planning, NFP, Fertility Awareness - What Does it All Mean?

Posted in: Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control

New Video Introducing CycleBeads Online

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

CycleBeads Top 10 Myths About This Natural Family Planning Method: Myth #2 - Interest

More than 2.5 million women have used CycleBeads and CycleBeads apps to plan or prevent pregnancy naturally.

CycleBeads Myth: No one wants to use a family planning option like this.
In general, most people who claim that “no one wants to use this method” assume that people don’t want to use a natural family planning method at all. Occasionally they may be referring to the fact that the original CycleBeads tool is a color-coded string of beads and that somehow this is “too different” from what people think of when they think of family planning. Well we have a surprise for them.

The Truth:
Studies show that 1 in 5 women are very interested in using a natural family planning method when they are given good information about these methods in the context of a full range of family planning options. And while CycleBeads may be quirky to some, this unique tool has been used by more than 2.5 million worldwide, and 75,000 women in the US alone to plan or prevent pregnancy.  Of course while the initial CycleBeads tool is still eye-catching and useful, many women are starting to use digital tools such as CycleBeads Online and the iCycleBeads smartphone apps.

Posted in: CycleBeads, Natural Birth Control

Why Did You Choose CycleBeads as Your Birth Control Method?

iCycleBeads Online View #1: CycleBeads View

To avoid side effects?  To save money?  For some other reason?  Everyone is different!  

We recently polled CycleBeads users about whether they use CycleBeads to plan or prevent pregnancy. Most users (approximately 75%) said they chose CycleBeads to prevent pregnancy.  So please tell us why you use CycleBeads as your birth control method in our anonymous survey!

Survey: Reasons for Choosing CycleBeads

Check back for the survey results.

Posted in: Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options, Fertility Awareness, CycleBeads, Natural Birth Control

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Arielle D., MA
"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."