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Posts in: Technology

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, andTwoDay 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

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

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

Top 3 Tips for Period Tracking

With all of the different ways to track your menstrual cycle these days, including a plethora of high-tech, period-tracking apps and online calendars, it's easy to lose sight of which information is most important. So, what are the basic things you should keep in mind?  Cycle Technologies EduSeries host, Ann Mullen, spoke with women's health expert, Dr. Nerys Benfield, OB-GYN, to find out. The EduSeries interview below with Dr. Benfield includes her top three tips to help you gain a better understanding of period tracking and the reasons you may wish to do it. 

Posted in: Womens Health, Interviews with Health Providers, Fertility, Technology

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It's Here - A New Family Planning Option!

We are so proud to introduce a new period tracking and fertility management app called Dot™. Dot uses the latest in science and technology to identify a woman's conception risks using just her period start dates. Working with data scientists and reproductive health experts, Cycle Technologies developed the Dynamic Optimal Timing™ approach which powers Dot.

Based on the incredible success of CycleBeads, and the feedback we've had from women around the world about this family planning method, we knew there was an opportunity to create a new innovation in this space. Dot works for almost all women*, tailors to your individual cycle lengths, and is shown to be highly accurate and effective. 

To find out more about Dot, visit the website: www.DotTheApp.com or download Dot the app in iTunes here.

* Dot is designed for women with cycles between 20-40 days long who have less than 10 days variation from their longest to shortest cycles. 

 

 

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

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

CycleBeads Android App Tested for Developing World

Abigael Wangui of iHub Research in Kenya demonstrates CycleBeads digital tools.

The CycleBeads Android app is undergoing testing by researchers at the Institute for Reproductive Health for use in Kenya and other developing countries.

As the use of mobile phones increases, there is a great opportunity to reach people with this effective family planning option. But it's not as easy as just making the app available and expecting women to download it.

Ongoing testing is helping us refine the CycleBeads app and figure out how to make it more useful to women everywhere. For more information on this project, check out our recent press release: Innovative Family Planning Option Tested in Developing World.

 

Posted in: CycleBeads, Technology, International Family Planning, mHealth

CycleBeads Digital Tools Called a Top 5 Promising Innovation

CycleBeads Online is a Promising Innovation in Contraception

CycleBeads mobile and digital tools are described as an "innovation in contraception" by USAID in a recent article "Five Promising Innovations in Contraception".

We couldn't agree more. Giving women real choices when it comes to their ability to prevent pregnancy and putting tools directly into their hands is having a huge impact on unplanned pregnancies.

Read the Cycle Technologies press release here.

Posted in: CycleBeads, Technology, mHealth

We've Come A Long Way in 12 Years!

The www.CycleBeads.com website circa 2002.

When we lauched CycleBeads in 2002, having a website was considered cutting edge. Only 9% of the global population was online. We loved our website! But oh how times have changed...

Today 40% of the world's population has internet access. And the CycleBeads.com website isn't just an informational resource - its our brand image. Even cooler, it's the product itself (hello CycleBeads Online)!

The latest update to our homepage represents the evolution of the CycleBeads' brand and the global impact this product is having. We hope you love it as much as we do! 

Check out the screen shots below...

Posted in: CycleBeads, Technology

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Recap of the Facebook Chat on CycleBeads Digital Tools

Thanks to all who joined the discussion last week on Cycle Technologies' facebook page about the CycleBeads digital tools. There were a lot of great questions. Many of the questions related to:

1) privacy concerns;

2) specific technical questions such as how to back up data, restore your app if you accidentally delete it, or update notifications that you want to receive; and

3) method specific questions such as what to do when you receive a notice that your cycle is shorter or longer than the 26-32 day range.

Check out the full discussion at www.facebook.com/CycleTechnologies

 

 

 

Posted in: CycleBeads, Technology

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