News/Blog


Why is "Birth Spacing" Important?

Photo Credit: Vinoth Chandar, via comfight.com
Spacing between pregnancies can have important health implications for a mother and her baby. Research has shown that there are a number of issues which are more likely to occur when a woman is pregnant again within a year of giving birth. These issues include an increased risk of:
 
- low birth weight
- small gestational size
- preterm birth
- infant death
- labor issues such as uterine rupture
 
Medical professionals recommend new mothers waiting at least a full year to have a another baby - some even say to wait 2 years! This gives the mothers time to replenish vital nutrients that were lost during child birth and also the recovery time to allow organs to restore back to normal. It can also help ensure that new parents will have the energy and ability to focus on another child.
 
What can you do to protect your health and the health of your future baby?
 

Posted in: Pregnancy, Womens Health

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Gates Foundation Calls for Full Access, Full Choice

CycleBeads is one of the modern contraceptive options included in the The Gates Foundation's recommendations.

In 2009, Melinda Gates publicly declared her belief that global family planning is a critical human rights issue. She and her husband put the backing of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation behind the movement and established the goal of universal access to sexual and reproductive health services. Since then, with the help of cooperating partners and governments, awareness has grown, and significant strides have been made to fill the unmet need for family planning of 200 million couples in the developing world.

This year's theme for the 3rd annual International Conference on Family Planning was FULL ACCESS, FULL CHOICE. It was held last week, November 12 - 15, in Addis Ababa and was co-hosted by The Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. More than 3,300 delegates from 120 countries attended.  The week ended with a "Call to Action" to governments to commit to providing women with access to the full range of modern contraception and voluntary family planning services. 

CycleBeads is proud to be included in the full range of modern contraceptive options. After all, if a program really wants to offer women choices, they should include a natural, effective family planning option in the method mix.

 

 

Posted in: International Family Planning

Behind the Scenes of the CycleBeads Video Shoot!

Thank you to everyone who participated this past weekend in the production of our documentary-style video. Check out some of the behind the scenes photos! An amazing group of women shared their stories.

Posted in: CycleBeads, Interviews with Health Providers, Education, Men and Family Planning

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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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."