Posts in: 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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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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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: 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

Cycle Technologies Hosts CT EduSeries Webinar on Birth Control Options & Effectiveness with Reproductive Health Experts, Dr. Victoria Jennings and Dr. Jeffrey Spieler

Cycle Technologies EduSeries Webinar Recap
"Which Birth Control Method Will Work for You?"
By Ann Mullen, Vice President & Director of Health Education, Cycle Technologies

The birth control method that will work best for you is the method that you choose, not the one that someone else chooses for you. That is a main conclusion from the latest CT EduSeries webinar conducted with reproductive health experts, Dr. Victoria Jennings and Dr. Jeffrey Spieler.  I sat down with them for a chat to find out what methods are available and what you need to think about when deciding on a method for yourself.

Many women are unfamiliar with what makes a birth control method effective. There's the tested rate, and then there's "real world" use. The tested rate is the scientifically controlled result of a test group using a method consistently with no errors for a year. This is called Efficacy. Then there is Effectiveness, which is how the method pans out in real life with typical use.  Usually, the real-world effectiveness is lower than perfect use (which makes sense!), but we learned in the webinar that personal factors can make a method closer to perfect, or less than typical, based on the behavior of the user.  

If you are on the Pill, do you always take it on time? Or do you sometimes forget?  If you use a Fertiity Awareness Method, do you use protection or avoid sex when you know you are fertile?  Or do you sometimes risk it? Studies show that if you like your method and are dedicated to it, you are more likely to use it more effectively. The following chart shows rates for typical and perfect use of birth control methods discussed during the CT EduSeries webinar.

But behavior is not the only factor to think about. What about safety? Do you experience sides effects with hormonal methods?  If so, you may want to think about methods that do not cause side effects.

What about future plans?  Are you a student who absolutely does not want to get pregnant at this time in your life? Then you may want to think about methods that are the most effective regardless of user error.

There are these and other factors to take into consideration when making a birth control decision.   Listen to the webinar to find out more!

Posted in: Birth Control Effectiveness, Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options, Womens Health

Watch the Webinar: How Sleep Affects Your Menstrual Cycle

In the latest CT EduSeries webinar, Dr. Mary Lee Barron shared her research and findings on how sleep affects a woman's menstrual cycle.  Dr. Barron's research shows that:

  • melatonin has a direct affect on the ovaries and follicular development
  • light exposure during sleep affects menstrual cycle length
  • consistent, health sleep is critical to optimal fertility

Listen to the recorded webinar here to find out more about these facts and how to get a good night's sleep!


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

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

Key Takeaways from Ferility Health Webinar, July 23, 2014

Fertility Health is a marker for overall health in both men and women.

We hosted a fascinating webinar on July 23, 2014, on the topic of how fertility health and general health are interrelated.  Ann Mullen, Director of Client Services at Cycle Technologies, interviewed fertility expert, Dr. Mary Lee Barron. They discussed important issues for men as well as for women regarding risk factors for fertility health and how these factors can be a marker for chronic disease.  Here is a sample of the many important points talked about:

Posted in: Fertility, Interviews with Health Providers, Men and Family Planning, Pregnancy, Research, Womens Health

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Free Webinar: How Fertility Health and Overall Health Go Hand in Hand

Don't miss our next webinar for anyone interested in health and fertility!

We will interview expert, Dr. Mary Lee Barron, on how fertility health is a marker for overall health in both men and women.  As part of the discussion Dr. Barron will talk about her research and how it shines light on questions such as . . .

  1. Do men's biological clocks affect their fertility too?
  2. What does your BMI (body mass index) have to do with your fertility?
  3. What is your body telling you, if you have irregular cycles?

We are excited to discuss these and other questions with Dr. Barron.  REGISTER HERE!

Posted in: Fertility, Interviews with Health Providers, Pregnancy, 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:

Available on the App Store

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

Why Do Women Choose CycleBeads to Plan or Prevent Pregnancy?

Why do women choose to use this fertility awareness-based method?


  • No Side Effects - The #1 reason women tell us that they've chosen to use this natural method, is "concerns about side effects". In fact, over 40% cited this as their main reason. Click here to find out more about the side effects of common contraceptives.
  • It's Effective - Women may not be willing to put up with side effects, but they still want their contraceptive method to be effective. CycleBeads and the method on which it is based, have been found to be highly effective both in perfect use and typical use. In fact, it is the most effective non-hormonal, user directed method in terms of typical use effectiveness. That's why so many women said that the fact that CycleBeads is "effective" was a key reason they chose it. Click here to find out more about our efficacy studies.
  • It's Inexpensive - Women often tell us that they like how affordable it is to use a natural method. It’s not the first thing they are concerned about, but it is a consideration. See how CycleBeads compares in terms of costs to other contraceptive options.

Thanks for reading! This is # 5 of 5 in our series looking at our most recent infographic. Let us know if you have any questions on the information provided.

Posted in: Research, CycleBeads, Birth Control Cost, Birth Control Options, Womens Health, International Family Planning

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