Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are changing people’s lifestyles at a rapid pace, including how they manage their health care. Health care providers and patients are increasingly communicating via mobile technology and many doctors are actually prescribing health apps to their patients for everything from pill reminders to managing their diabetes to using a family planning method (hello CycleBeads!).The development and adoption of health apps has exploded in a short time, and continues to grow with thousands of medical apps available for mobile devices. Experts forecast that mobile health (or mHealth as the industry is becoming known) is going to change how healthcare is delivered and managed over the next few years.
Great work is highlighted in the video "A Healthy Investment: Linking Family Planning and Microfinance" which looks at how a collaborative project in India is working to improve women's access to family planning by working with community health workers. CycleBeads® is included in the full range of family planning options that these health workers proactively discuss with women in their communities. The educators can then either give women their family planning choice or direct them to the appropriate health care facility. The video was produced by FHI 360's PROGRESS Project in partnership with the Network of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (NEED). See the video here: http://youtu.be/JrvQznNBXX8
A recent survey of women who had purchased CycleBeads with the intention of planning a pregnancy, indicated interesting results:
- 80% of women using CycleBeads to achieve pregnancy, were pregnant within 6 months and most of these women were pregnant within the first 3 months.
- Of the women who successfully achieved pregnancy, more than 40% achieved pregnancy in the first month of trying and 75% had achieved pregnancy within 3 months.
- 90% of respondents used CycleBeads as their only conception aid. They did not invest in thermometers or expensive ovulation kits.
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.