CycleBeads - Plan or Prevent Pregnancy (Info Sheet)
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.
Couples and individuals have the right to decide when they want to have children - if at all. Today, we have a range of contraceptive options. However, with all the options available to us, globally there are still an estimated 222 million women who have an unmet need for family planning. And although significant strides have been made to fill these gaps, having FULL CHOICE and FULL ACCESS to contraceptives is paramount if we are to achieve FP2020 goals or the Sustainable Development Goals or any other goal for that matter.
Adding effective, science-based fertility awareness methods to the contraceptive method mix brings new users to family planning and addresses unmet family planning needs. In fact fertility awareness methods can address many of the reasons that women cite for not using contraception even when they don’t want to get pregnant.
But there are those who question whether fertility awareness methods are actually “modern methods”. After all, people have been claiming to use these types of methods for centuries.
WHAT MAKES FAMS ‘‘MODERN’’?
In a powerful peer-reviewed commentary, the Office of Population and Reproductive Health of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) laid out their technical position for classifying fertility awareness methods as modern contraceptives. As described in the position, USAID supports FAMs as modern contraceptives because these methods meet the criteria for a modern contraceptive because they:
1. Are effective at pregnancy prevention,
2. Are safe,
3. Are based on a sound understanding of reproductive biology,
4. Include a defined protocol for correct use, and
5. Have been tested in appropriately designed studies to assess effectiveness under various conditions.
One last note that the authors point out that we consider a bonus is that fertility awareness methods do not require any clinical intervention.
If you'd like to participate in an upcoming CT EduSeries, please drop us a line, follow us on twitter and like us on facebook.
Thank you for your comments and feedback. We have made the neccessary updates to the CycleBeads Android version.
Menstrual Hygiene Day: www.menstrualhygieneday.org
Days for Girls International: www.daysforgirls.org
Posted in: Fertility
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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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.