February, 20 2013
CycleBeads Myth: This is just the rhythm method
We hear this claim a lot. Most often we hear it from people who "don't believe" that natural family planning works. We also hear it from people who advocate for other fertility awareness-based methods and think that the term "natural family planning" only applies to the practice of tracking your secretions, temperature, and other signs of fertility.
The Truth: CycleBeads and the Standard Days Method on which it is based are very different from “the rhythm method”. While people often use the term “the rhythm method” disparagingly to describe natural family planning methods in general, this is not accurate. Technically, the rhythm method is an algorithm that requires a woman to track her cycle for 6 months and then do complex calculations to figure out which days in her current cycle she is likely to get pregnant. Further, there are a variety of formulas that have been used for this calculation, but none have ever been tested in well-designed efficacy tests. Needless to say, it’s a complex, vague calculation that has never been well studied and means a lot of different things to different people. The Standard Days Method is based on a standard algorithm that has been well researched and tested and is used the same way every cycle. It is included in the World Health Organization's family planning guidance documents, in numerous family planning guidelines, and in modern reference books for family planning health professionals under "fertility awareness methods". See more in this earlier article, “CycleBeads is Not the Rhythm Method”.
Posted in: The Rhythm Method, CycleBeads, Birth Control Effectiveness