You are likely familiar with CycleBeads® as a tool for using the Standard Days Method® of family planning and as an aid for health care providers and health educators to teach about fertility awareness. But CycleBeads also plays an important role as a product for social impact. In a series of case studies, researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business included CycleBeads among the solutions they examined to find out what it takes to commercialize a health-innovation product in the global market place.
We have found through surveys and feedback from users of CycleBeads that approximately a quarter are using CycleBeads to try to conceive. So how long does it take to become pregnant when using CycleBeads? We would like to hear from women who have used or are using CycleBeads to determine their fertile time to achieve pregnancy.
Please take our quick, anonymous survey to share your experience!
Check back for survey results!
Recent Research Demonstrates Benefits & Challenges of Offering the Standard Days Method of Family Planning in Health Programs
Two recent studies conducted by researchers at the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) at Georgetown University looked at integrating the Standard Days Method® using CycleBeads® into health programs. Results showed that offering this fertility awareness-based family planning method brought new users to family planning and increased overall contraceptive use in general. It also helps programs fulfill their missions of offering a full range of family planning options by enabling them to offer a non-hormonal, effective option. However, the studies also highlight some of the challenges with introducing a new fertility awareness-based method.
We were thrilled to see a review of the iCycleBeads Online service on the Monster Mummies blog by a woman named Michelle. As Michelle says, she and her husband are planning to get pregnant soon and so she has transitioned off of hormonal contraception to make sure her cycles are regular. They are using iCycleBeads Online to initially prevent pregnancy, but plan to start using it to get pregnant in the near future. Her favorite things about iCycleBeads Online?
- "it is actually really simple to understand when you see it."
- "I could log on anywhere (even at work!) to see where I was with my cycle."
- "emails let me know when there is a change in my cycle, very helpful for busy and forgetful people!"
- "it takes the worry and stress of remembering to record everything and gives you one place to record it all online."
Thanks Michelle! We appreciate your feedback.
Want to share your experience with us? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Myth: I can get pregnant any day of my cycle.
Truth: There are only a limited number of days during a woman's cycle when pregnancy is possible.
Many women grow up hearing that they can get pregnant any day of the month. This is usually information given to them by well meaning, but protective adults who may themselves be misinformed. The fact is that there are only a limited number of days each cycle when a woman can get pregnant - the five days before she ovulates and the 24 hours after she ovulates. These six days are the only fertile days of a woman's cycle and they take into account the lifespan of sperm (5 days) and the lifespan of the ovum (24 hours).
It's all in the timing! When trying to conceive, a couple needs to time intercourse during the woman's fertile days.
In a recent survey, we learned that about one-fourth of women using CycleBeads or iCycleBeads were trying to conceive. If you are someone using CycleBeads (or have used CycleBeads) to get pregnant, please take our quick two-question, anonymous survey!
Check back to see the survey results!
Recently we asked women to tell us if they were using CycleBeads to plan or prevent a pregnancy. The survey results showed that approximately 3/4 of women use CycleBeads to prevent pregnancy while about 1/4 use CycleBeads to plan a pregnancy. We then asked those women who are using CycleBeads as contraception to tell us why they chose this natural family planning option. The answers were overwhelming health reasons such as to "avoid side effects" or because of "concerns about specific health risks". See the graph below for more detailed results.
To avoid side effects? To save money? For some other reason? Everyone is different!
We recently polled CycleBeads users about whether they use CycleBeads to plan or prevent pregnancy. Most users (approximately 75%) said they chose CycleBeads to prevent pregnancy. So please tell us why you use CycleBeads as your birth control method in our anonymous survey!
Check back for the survey results.
CycleBeads are included as a part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series. The Global Health Innovation Project at Stanford University series is intended to develop tools and materials that innovators can use to increase their effectiveness in tackling common business-related issues in low resource settings. The Insight Series looks at companies and products who have navigated these situations and are willing to share their learnings with others.
A number of the issues that we have faced with introducing CycleBeads over the past 10 years, and that are relevant to other innovative health products, are described in these articles. These issues include:
CycleBeads is a fertility awareness tool that can be used either to PLAN or PREVENT pregnancy. We were interested to find out how women were actually using CycleBeads, so we recently surveyed CycleBeads users. We found that most users, approximately three-quarters, were using CycleBeads (or an iCycleBeads app) to prevent pregnancy. In other words, most had chosen CycleBeads as their birth control method. Approximately one-quarter were using CycleBeads to plan a pregnancy, and a very small percentage were using CycleBeads simply to track their cycles. Interestingly, these results remain consistent with results from surveys in previous years.
"I love CycleBeads! My husband and I recently married, and we considered different options when it came to family planning. We did not want any chemicals in my body, and CycleBeads was the only method with which we felt completely comfortable. This method has allowed my husband to be actively involved in the planning of our family and has allowed me to be more in-tune with my body and monthly cycle. The beads are easy to follow and fun to use! I would recommend CycleBeads to any married couple seeking family planning options."