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

We've Been a Bit Quiet....

We've been quiet, but we'll have lots of news soon! Stay tuned!

CycleBeads App Helps Kenyan Women Plan or Prevent Pregnancy with Just a Smartphone


As seen on

Nairobi, Kenya - Women in Kenya can now prevent pregnancy without side effects using a free smartphone app called CycleBeads®. The CycleBeads Android app helps a woman know which days she is fertile and which days she is not based on her period start dates. This information can be used to prevent or plan pregnancy. CycleBeads is the only app that can be used to effectively prevent pregnancy by simply tracking a woman’s period start dates.

CycleBeads is based on the Standard Days Method®, a family planning method that:  

  • Was proven more than 95% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly in large-scale efficacy trials.
  • Is the most widely used modern natural family planning option in the world having been used by +4.5 million women worldwide in +60 countries, including Kenya.
  • Is designed for women with cycles between 26 and 32 days long

Cycle Technologies, the company that developed the CycleBeads app, is working with researchers from iHub in Nairobi and the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, to test its usability and impact.

“While many mobile-based health technologies are coming into the Kenyan market, CycleBeads is unique in its approach, using the mobile phone to increase information needed to adhere to a natural family planning method (Standard Days Method). I think this app is a great option for women in Kenya who want to plan the size of their families naturally without using hormonal contraception,” says Angela Okune of iHub,

The CycleBeads Android app has already been downloaded by over 30,000 women around the world. Based on pilot research conducted by iHub, the original app has been updated to help better meet the needs of Kenyan women.

"CycleBeads is ideal for a woman who is looking for a way to monitor her cycle. This can be extremely useful information” said, Dr. Nzisa Liku AfyaBora Fellow 2014/2015.

Download the CycleBeads Android app in the Google Marketplace.

For more information about CycleBeads in Kenya visit:



About Cycle Technologies

Cycle Technologies is a socially minded consumer product company based in Washington, D.C. Since 2002 the company has worked with researchers, healthcare partners, and technologists to identify, develop, and make available solutions to address global health needs.  

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 Kenya Assets

The below visuals have been developed to support communications efforts in Kenya for the CycleBeads Android app. Please note that these visuals may be updated from time to time. Please feel free to distribute via social media or through other channels. Thanks for making this effective family planning option widely available! 


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Cycle Technologies Hosts "Men's Fertility Health" - CT's EduSeries Webinar

Cycle Technologies EduSeries Webinar Recap
"Men's Fertility Health" hosted by Ann Mullen, Director of Health Education, Cycle Technologies, with guest fertility expert, Dr. Mary Lee Barron.

Cycle Technologies recently hosted an informative and timely topic on men's fertility health. Today's webinar on Men's Fertility Health was chock full of interesting facts.

Key takeaways:

  • It's all about the sperm! Healthy sperm, sufficient quantity, and good semen quality for delivery of sperm.  
  • Establishing healthy habits and lifestyle plays a significant role in ensuring a man's fertility health.
  • Men's Fertility Health is an indicator of overall heath and risk for future disease, including potential future erectile dysfunction.

Watch the recorded live eduseries segment here video if you missed this live webinar. Find out specific details about what harms and what boosts men's fertility health. 


Below is a quick snapshot of information from the webinar. It's a great list to keep in mind for an optimal fertility diet for men. 


Below are a few popular tweets from the webinar of key men's heatlh facts: 

  • For every 20lbs of a man being overweight - risk of increases 10%.
  • for incl. no more than 7% of daily intake in saturated fat, , , low carbs, smart snacks .
  • Decreased quality of semen is associated with #highBMI
  • Scrotal temp is critical. Dangers: laptop on lap, hot tubs, tight underwear. #mensfertility
  • It takes 75 days for #sperm to grow to maturity.

Have a topic in mind you'd like for us to cover? Send us your suggestions for future topics in reproductive health! Contact us at And, follow us on @CycleTechGlobal to get the latest news, etc.

Posted in: Men and Family Planning, Fertility

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

Which Birth Control Method Will Work for You?

Check out the "Which Birth Control Method Will Work for You" webinar next Thursday, March 19th from 1-2pm est. Family planning experts will discuss the full range of birth control options from the IUD to fertility awareness and the different factors which can affect how well your birth control method is likely to work for you. 

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