Cycle Technologies CycleBeads
Cycle Technologies CycleBeads is an easy was to plan or prevent pregnency naturally. CycleBeads are a natural birth control option that enables a woman to track her cycle and know if she is on a day when pregnancy is likely or not. CycleBeans is used by women around the world becuase it is:
- More than 95% Effective
- Side-Effect Free
- Easy to Use
- Educational & Empowering
CycleBends is a color-coded string of beads that represents the days of a woman's cycle and helps her use a natural family planning method called the Standard Days Method. This family planning method is designed for women with cycles between 26 and 32 days long.
CycleBends were developed by the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University. CycleBeads are based on the Standard Days Method, a natural family planning method, which has proven to be more than 95% effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies.
Frequently Asked Questions
CycleBeads and the research behind them.
Q. What is the Standard Days Method?
The Standard Days Method is a new, simple method of family planning that was developed by the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University. The Institute developed a computer model, based on data from the World Health Organization, and determined that women who usually have menstrual cycles between 26 and 32 days long are potentially fertile – or able to get pregnant – on days 8 through 19 of their cycles. So the Standard Days Method identifies a fixed set of days in each menstrual cycle as the days when a woman can get pregnant if she has unprotected intercourse. If the woman doesn’t want to get pregnant, she and her partner avoid unprotected intercourse on days 8 through 19 of her cycle. The Institute has tested the Standard Days Method in a clinical trial with about 500 women in 3 countries – Bolivia, Peru and the Philippines. They found that women were able to use the method correctly, and when they did use it correctly, it was more than 95% effective. That is, out of 100 women using the method for 1 year, fewer than 5 would get pregnant.
Q. How is this different from the rhythm method?
Actually, it’s very different. The rhythm method involves having exact information about the last 6 menstrual cycles and every month making complex calculations – adding and subtracting – to figure out which days in the current cycle you’re likely to get pregnant. And the rhythm method has never actually been tested in a well-designed efficacy study. The Standard Days Method on which CycleBeads are based, is simple – it doesn’t involve any calculations, and it is the same every cycle. It has also been tested in a well-designed effectiveness trial, with excellent results.
Q. Why do women choose to use CycleBeads?
The most common answer we hear is that women want to use them because they are based on a method that is natural, effective, and has no side effects. Many women want an easy to use family planning method that is natural – that doesn’t involve hormones or surgical procedures. Some women are concerned about side effects with other methods, others don’t want to do anything that might impair their future ability to get pregnant. Some women want to use it for religious reasons. And others want a method that helps them involve their partners instead of one that is only the woman’s responsibility.
Q. Can I use CycleBeads to help me get pregnant?
Yes you can. No research has been conducted to date to see exactly how effective the Standard Days Method is in helping a couple who wants to get pregnant, but because CycleBeads identify the fertile days, using CycleBeads can be an important first step in trying to get pregnant. This is because when they are using CycleBeads,
- a woman and her partner can see on which days she is fertile, and they can have intercourse on those days
- keeping track of the number of days in her cycle gives a woman information about her cycle that she can share with her doctor and thereby make appropriate choices to help her conceive.
Of course, there are women who are not ovulating, or have some other biological issue that makes it difficult for them to conceive. Or the man may not be fertile. While CycleBeads will not directly help them to conceive, it can be useful in helping them to at least establish the woman’s potentially fertile days and her cycle lengths.
Q. If I'm only fertile for a few days of my cycle, why is the "fertile window" 12 days long?
The research on which CycleBeads are based identifies the fertile window – the time during which most women could get pregnant - as days 8 through 19 of the menstrual cycle. While it is true that a woman can get pregnant during only a few days of her cycle, these days may not be at the same time from one cycle to the next. The “fertile window” identified is 12 days long because it takes into account both the days around ovulation and the possible changes in the actual timing of ovulation from one cycle to the next.
Who can use CycleBeads?
Q. Can I use CycleBeads if I just stopped taking the pill?
Yes, if your cycles were 26-32 days long before you started taking pills. If you are still taking pills and want to use CycleBeads, you should finish taking the pills for this current cycle. Then, on the first day of your next period, you can begin using the method. If you have already stopped taking pills, you should wait until your next period starts before you start using the method.
Q. Can I use CycleBeads if I just stopped taking an injectable form of birth control?
It depends. First, you must have had regular cycles between 26 and 32 days long before you started using the injection. If you have taken a 1-month injectable recently and you had cycles in this range before you started using the injectable, you can use CycleBeads as soon as you have your next period. However, if you have taken a three-month injectable, it may be a while before your cycles return to normal. You’ll need to wait until three months have passed since you got your last injection and then wait until you have a cycle that is between 26 and 32 days long.
Q. Can I use CycleBeads if I just stopped using an IUD?
Yes, as long as during the time you were using the IUD your cycles were between 26 and 32 days long. Once the IUD is taken out, you can start using CycleBeads on the first day of your next period.
Q. Can I use CycleBeads if I am breastfeeding?
That depends. Wait until you have had 4 menstrual periods since your baby was born. After you have had 4 periods, if your last cycle was between 26 and 32 days long, you can start using CycleBeads on the first day of your next period.
Q. Can I use CycleBeads if I am close to menopause?
Yes, as long as your cycles are between 26 and 32 days long. However, as you approach menopause, your cycles may become irregular – either shorter or longer. When this happens, CycleBeads will not work for you.
How your cycle works.
Q. Can't I get pregnant any time during my cycle?
No actually, research shows that there are a small number of days during which a woman is likely to get pregnant – a few days before she ovulates and the day she ovulates. But these days may not be at the same time every cycle because a woman doesn’t always ovulate at the same time. Studies conducted by the Institute for Reproductive Health have shown that the “fertile window” – days when a woman could get pregnant – is Days 8 through 19 of their menstrual cycles for most women. This “fertile window” takes into account the days around ovulation as well as the fact that the day of ovulation is not the same every cycle.
Q. How is my menstrual cycle different from my period?
A woman’s menstrual cycle is not the same thing as her period. A period is just the days when a woman is actually having menstrual bleeding. Her cycle is the whole time from the beginning of one period until the beginning of the next period. A woman’s menstrual cycle begins the first day of her period. It ends just before she starts her next period. So the first day of her period is Day 1 of her cycle. By counting each day, beginning with Day 1, and continuing every day until she starts her next period, a woman can know how long her cycle is. CycleBeads help a woman to keep track of the days of her menstrual cycle.
Q. What is ovulation?
Ovulation is the release of an egg by the woman’s ovary. In almost every menstrual cycle, the woman’s ovary releases an egg. There are thousands of eggs inside the woman’s ovaries. The natural chemicals in her body trigger the development of one of these eggs every cycle. When the egg is ready to be fertilized, it comes out of the ovary and travels down the woman’s tubes to her uterus. If the man’s sperm has fertilized it, the egg can attach itself to the uterus and the woman is pregnant.