Posts in: Research
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.
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.
You may be surprised to hear that most women have no idea when they can get pregnant. A recent study showed that 2/3 of young adults in the U.S. do not know that women are most fertile around the middle of their cycles (Berger, 2012). In an Australian study, only 16% of women actively seeking fertility treatments could correctly identify which days of their cycles they could get pregnant, despite the fact that most of these women thought that they were targeting the right days to achieve pregnancy. And according to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers, almost 60% of women and 50% of men say it is somewhat likely that they are infertile, without having information from a healthcare provider. Furthermore, the American Infertility Association, says that at least 20% of "perceived infertility" cases are due to mistimed intercourse.
So what is going on? Why are so many women unaware or misinformed about their fertile days? Why do so many people believe they may be infertile? And how can using a simple family planning tool like CycleBeads help reduce the number of anxious couples trying to get pregnant, and the millions of dollars spent on unnecessary fertility treatments? We have a few ideas...
A recent survey of women who had purchased CycleBeads with the intention of planning a pregnancy, indicated interesting results:
- 80% of women using CycleBeads to achieve pregnancy, were pregnant within 6 months and most of these women were pregnant within the first 3 months.
- Of the women who successfully achieved pregnancy, more than 40% achieved pregnancy in the first month of trying and 75% had achieved pregnancy within 3 months.
- 90% of respondents used CycleBeads as their only conception aid. They did not invest in thermometers or expensive ovulation kits.
You are likely familiar with CycleBeads® as a tool for using the Standard Days Method® of family planning and as an aid for health care providers and health educators to teach about fertility awareness. But CycleBeads also plays an important role as a product for social impact. In a series of case studies, researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business included CycleBeads among the solutions they examined to find out what it takes to commercialize a health-innovation product in the global market place.
Recent Research Demonstrates Benefits & Challenges of Offering the Standard Days Method of Family Planning in Health Programs
Two recent studies conducted by researchers at the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University looked at integrating the Standard Days Method® using CycleBeads® into health programs. Results showed that offering this fertility awareness-based family planning method brought new users to family planning and increased overall contraceptive use in general. It also helps programs fulfill their missions of offering a full range of family planning options by enabling them to offer a non-hormonal, effective option. However, the studies also highlight some of the challenges with introducing a new fertility awareness-based method.
Recently we asked women to tell us if they were using CycleBeads to plan or prevent a pregnancy. The survey results showed that approximately 3/4 of women use CycleBeads to prevent pregnancy while about 1/4 use CycleBeads to plan a pregnancy. We then asked those women who are using CycleBeads as contraception to tell us why they chose this natural family planning option. The answers were overwhelming health reasons such as to "avoid side effects" or because of "concerns about specific health risks". See the graph below for more detailed results.
Using a condom correctly is difficult according to a recent study in the journal Sexual Health. Led by the Kinsey Institute Condom Use Research Team, the study compared 50 research articles across multiple countries and found that incorrect use of condoms is prevalent and causing unintended pregnancies and infections.
"I was introduced to CycleBeads by a friend who was using them as her form of birth control. My husband and I were trying to conceive, and she suggested we try using the CycleBeads to help track my cycle. After two months of using the beads...success! I kept them next to my bed, so it was easy for me to remember to track each day. I plan to use CycleBeads after I deliver as my form of birth control. I have struggled with migraines for years due to the hormones in the pill, and do not want to go back to that life! I also recommend CycleBeads to any of my friends trying to conceive or looking for alternative birth control."