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.
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.
As CycleBeads' 10 year anniversary is fast approaching next month, we wanted to take a second and reflect on what we've accomplished...
One major accomplishment, more than 2.5 million women have used CycleBeads since our launch in late 2002! Why is this important? Read this recent article on the challenges of making natural birth control options widely available and how CycleBeads has been able to overcome many of these obstacles.
New CycleBeads Toolkit - A Resource for Health Providers Integrating This Natural Family Planning Option
Attention! Health Care Providers and Health Educators:
A toolkit for integrating the Standard Days Method® and CycleBeads® into U.S. health clinics and programs has been created by our research partner, the Institute for Reproductive Health. It is a free online resource that includes an Integration Guide, a training course, training materials, instructional videos and more.
While CycleBeads and iCycleBeads™ are an easy and effective way to use natural family planning, and can be purchased without a prescription, it is important and helpful for health care professionals to have a plan and guidance when introducing it to a clinic or program. The toolkit gives tips on how to create a positive atmosphere for offering the method, how to train staff to screen and counsel clients, how to procure materials, and suggests other creative ways to use CycleBeads in a practice and in outreach.
The toolkit is available at: www.cyclebeadstoolkit.com
Feel free to download materials to use in your practice and for training your staff. Contact us with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CycleBeads®, a natural birth control tool, is now available through Maternova, a one-stop shop for products that help save the lives of mothers and newborns. CycleBeads enables a woman to plan or prevent pregnancy by tracking her cycles and identifying her potentially fertile days. It is based on the Standard Days Method®, a highly effective natural family planning method.
Says Maternova Vice President, Allyson Cote, “As the first global Maternal Health marketplace and cutting-edge online community, Maternova is delighted to include CycleBeads in our robust portfolio of leading innovations. Maternova is dedicated to improving the lives of mothers and newborns, along with improving patient outcomes in low-resource settings. CycleBeads is a true innovation that provides a highly effective method of natural family planning.”
- It is based on sound understanding of reproductive biology,
- It follows a precise protocol for correct use, and
- It has been tested in an appropriately designed study to assess efficacy under various conditions.
It seems there are a million fertility apps out there. Want to get a daily reminder to take your birth control pill? Want to get pregnant? Want to have a girl? Want to know what your baby will look like at week 8? Want to know if your period is likely to come this weekend?
There's an app for that.
So how are iCycleBeads™ family planning apps different from other so-called "fertility apps"?
CycleBeads are available from Benin to Belgium, from East Timor to Ecuador, and from Uganda to the United States. Women in over 50 countries use this natural family planning option to plan or prevent pregnancy.
How do they get them? CycleBeads are available throughout much of the world through healthcare providers, educators, retailers, NGO’s, Ministries of Health and of course... online!