News/Blog


USAID Reports CycleBeads Impact in the Democratic Republic of Congo

A Woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo Holds Her Set of CycleBeads

More than 26% of women in the Democratic Republic of Congo are not using a modern family planning method even though they want to avoid pregnancy. In a recent article, a program manager from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) described his experience in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and how CycleBeads as a non-hormonal family planning option is helping to address the unmet need there.  The article highlights how this simple fertility tool can help address family planning issues in a complex cultural environment where views around family size, gender roles, and contraception in general have made it difficult for programs to offer family planning and reproductive health services. Check out the full article here: Non-Hormonal Methods of Contraception Meet Need in DRC  

Posted in: International Family Planning

CycleBeads to Be Featured on BBC World News!

Priya Jha, India Country Director for the Institute for Reproductive Health, is Shown on the BBC Program Holding a Set of CycleBeads

CycleBeads will be featured in an upcoming episode of Horizons on BBC World News.  The program will examine how contraceptive options such as CycleBeads have helped decrease fertility rates by nearly half in South Asia and will specifically look at their impact in India.

In addition to exploring how this innovative family planning option enables women to prevent pregnancy naturally in an easy, effective, safe way, the program will also look at how some of the new digital tools such as CycleBeads Online, iCycleBeads smartphone apps, and a text-based SMS tool, are making this family planning method even more accessible.

The episode airs on November 2 and November 3. To find out the schedule in your area, check out:  bbc.com/tvschedule

Posted in: International Family Planning, CycleBeads, mHealth

CycleBeads Responds to The Atlantic Article on Natural Methods of Contraception

A recent article in The Atlantic "The New Old-School Birth Control" outlines the complicated and challenging environment for fertility awareness-based methods.  The article does a good job describing the many barriers that make it difficult for women in the U.S. to find out about natural methods and get the support they need to use them. But we disagree with the author's premise that "tracking fertility effectively is more complicated than just counting days" and that she dismisses "calendar-based methods" as "just the rhythm method". 

The Standard Days Method®, the family planning method on which CycleBeads® tools are based, is a calendar-based natural method and it actually addresses many of the barriers to acceptance that the article describes for other fertility awareness-based methods.

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

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iCycleBeads Smartphone App - Review on Preggie Pals

iCycleBeads Smartphone App for Planning or Preventing Pregnancy

Preggie Pals, a weekly audio podcast and online resource for expecting moms and dads and those trying to become pregnant, recently reviewed the iCycleBeads iPhone app. Overall they gave it two thumb's up! It was interesting to hear the persepctives of women using the app who are trying to get pregnant as opposed to using it to prevent pregnancy. Comments included:

"A much more organized way to track my fertility."

"Nice. Easy. Simple."

But a couple of women mentioned that if you are trying to get pregnant, you may want something more "comprehensive" that allows you to track your BBT (that's your Basal Body Temperature). We know that when a woman decides she wants to get pregnant, she often wants to know exactly when she ovulated, and tracking her BBT is one way to do this. But we would note that when women used just CycleBeads tools (iCycleBeads smartphone apps, CycleBeads Online, or the physical tool CycleBeads) to get pregnant, they were highly successful.  Recent surveys show that 37% of women who use CycleBeads tools to get pregnant, are pregnant within the first month, and 80% are pregnant within 6 months. 

Listen to the full podcast here: http://www.preggiepals.com/icyclebeads-plan-or-prevent-pregnancy/

Posted in: Technology

Why Aren't All Women Using Contraception?

Virtually all sexually active women in the United States have used contraception, but according to a National Health Statistics Report, most unplanned pregnancies occur among women who are not using birth control or are using it inconsistently. Why would a woman not use contraception even though she doesn't want to get pregnant? And what can be done to help her prevent an unplanned pregnancy? 
 
 
According to the report, the #1 reason women in the U.S. cite for not using a birth control method when they conceived their unplanned births, is that they "didn't think they could get pregnant" at that time (36%). 
 
Other reasons include ...

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

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Thinking About Using CycleBeads? Screen Yourself!

Screen yourself to see if CycleBeads is the right family planning method for you.

The CycleBeads® website has a handy online self-screener to help you determine whether you can use CycleBeads as your contraceptive method. Here are the questions to consider, but make sure to use the self-screener to find out what the advice is for your answers...

Posted in: Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options, CycleBeads, Natural Birth Control

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New Publication - CycleBeads Impact in 5 Developing Countries

The new publication "Stories of Most Significant Change" features firsthand reports from health providers, women, and their partners about how the Standard Days Method and CycleBeads have impacted their programs and lives. Focusing on five developing countries, the stories help us see how this simple family planning tool is having a big impact in diverse regions of the world including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala...

Posted in: International Family Planning

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New Video - Family Planning & CycleBeads Impact in Rwanda

Ten years ago, only 7% of women in Rwanda were using a family planning method and women were giving birth to an average of six children during their lifetimes. The introduction of the Standard Days Method® using CycleBeads® has had a huge impact. 

The video below features interviews with health workers as well as with users. It looks at the the impact that this family planning tool is having on the lives of women and couples in Rwanda. 

 

Posted in: International Family Planning, Contraceptive Options

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"Show Me the Options!" Birth Control Kits Make It Easy

CycleBeads are Included in the Birth Control Kit Available from Planned Parenthood of Metro Washington

What's the best way to learn about all the effective birth control methods available? Seeing all the options in one place is a great place to start.  Some health clinics and many health educators use birth control kits to show patients the wide range of contraceptives. In addition to contraceptive samples for hands-on demonstration, kits can also include anatomy charts and other important sexual health information.

Posted in: Contraceptive Options

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CDC Report Shows Highly Educated Women Most Likely to Use Calendar-Based Family Planning

The recent CDC Report included information that shocked some people - the more educated a woman is, the more likely it is that she will have ever used a calendar-based family planning method! The report also showed that more educated women are also more likely to use symptoms-based family planning methods such as basal body temperature (BBT) and cervical mucus. 

According to the Centers for Disease Report, 28.2% of highly educated women (women with a master's degree or higher) are likely to have used a “calendar-based” method compared to 12.6% of women with less than a high school diploma. They also reported that 11.9% of highly educated women had used a symptoms-based natural method compared to only 2.9% of women who had not graduated from highschool.

Posted in: Birth Control Options, Contraceptive Options, Research

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Testimonials

Diana B., MA
"After using other methods of birth control, my husband and I decided to try CycleBeads. They are easy to use and have worked wonderfully for us. We have a nice family of three, including our Black Lab, Sadie (shown in photo with me), and we want to keep it that way for now! I recommend this natural, safe and reliable way to anyone who wants to avoid toxic substances while sharing the responsibility of birth control with her partner."