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NEWS RELEASE: CycleBeads App Helping Women in Africa Prevent or Plan Pregnancy - Over 50,000 Women in Ghana & Kenya Use CycleBeads Android App

CycleBeads App Helping Women in Africa Prevent or Plan Pregnancy - Over 50,000 Women in Ghana & Kenya Use CycleBeads Android App


WASHINGTON, DC, September 28, 2016 – Over 50,000 women in Kenya and Ghana are using the CycleBeads® Android app to prevent pregnancy or plan pregnancy. The app, which has been undergoing rigorous usability and impact testing, is designed to help women use the Standard Days Method® of family planning. The CycleBeads app helps a woman identify her fertile days and track that her cycles are in range for using this method.

“We are thrilled with the impact that this technology is having” says, Leslie Heyer founder of Cycle Technologies. “There is a huge unmet need for family planning options that don’t cause side effects. Providing women with effective, easy to use, natural options, that they can access entirely through a smartphone, can go a long way towards addressing this need.”

In Ghana, 42% of women have an unmet need for family planning while in Kenya, 25% of married women have an unmet need.  In both countries, women cite “side effects” as the number one reason for non-use of contraception according to national health surveys.

 

The CycleBeads Android app is designed to provide women with an effective family planning option that does not cause side effects. It can be downloaded for free in the Google Marketplace.

 

More information about CycleBeads is available at: www.CycleBeads.com

 

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About Cycle Technologies

Cycle Technologies is a social impact company focused on women’s health. The company’s mission is to prevent unplanned pregnancies and help people have the families that they want when they are ready. Founded in 2002, Cycle Technologies products are available in over 60 countries and apps are available to anyone in the world with a smartphone. Learn more at www.cycletechnologies.com.

 

Posted in: Birth Control Effectiveness, Natural Birth Control, mHealth, International Family Planning, Womens Health, Research

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, and TwoDay 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

CycleBeads Android App Update - Coming Soon

Thanks to our Android app users for letting us know about an issue with the most updated version of the CycleBeads app. We are fixing it and will have an update shortly! 

 

Posted in: CycleBeads, mHealth

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

New Webinar on CycleBeads Digital Tools

Check out the short CycleBeads Digital Tools webinar recorded last week as part of the Cycle Technologies EduSeries.

The webinar reviews CycleBeads smartphone apps and online service. It also shows health providers how to obtain a Provider Access account for CycleBeads Online and enroll patients.

Stay tuned for more information on a live Facebook discussion on CycleBeads Digital tools next week! 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: CycleBeads, mHealth

Key Takeaways from Webinar - Offering Natural Family Planning Methods in Your Practice

Ann Mullen, Cycle Technologies' Director of Health Provider Services, hosts webinar on fertility awareness-based family methods.

In case you missed it, last week we had a fantastic webinar looking at how health providers can include fertility awareness-based family planning options into the range of options for their clients. We were thrilled to have Dr. Victoria Jennings, director of the Institute for Reproductive Health, and Dr. Marguerite Duane, family physician and adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University, presenting on the topic. Ann Mullen, Cycle Technologies' Director of Health Provider Services, hosted the presentation as these experts discussed the latest developments in fertility awareness-based family planning methods, a.k.a. "natural family planning methods". The presenters explored what works, what doesn't, and how a general healthcare practice can offer natural methods to their patients.

Main takeaways from the webinar included:

Posted in: Contraceptive Options, Fertility Awareness, Natural Birth Control, Birth Control Effectiveness, Fertility, mHealth

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Check Out Our New "How to Use the iCycleBeads App" Video

Check out our new video which shows how to use the CycleBeads® smartphone app to prevent pregnancy, plan a pregnancy, or just to track your period. The app is extremely easy to use so the video only takes 2 minutes. CycleBeads is available on Apple and Android.

 

For more detailed information about CycleBeads smartphone apps, click here.

 

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

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