CycleBeads, Natural Family Planning, Plan Or Prevent Pregnancy Naturally
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CycleBeads is an easy way to plan or prevent pregnancy naturally.
This color-coded string of beads enables a woman to track her cycle and know if she is on a day when pregnancy is likely or not.
Women around the world use CycleBeads because it is:
- Side-Effect Free.
- Easy to use.
- Educational & Empowering.
To use CycleBeads a woman simply moves a ring over the series of color-coded beads that represent the days of her cycle. The color of the beads lets her know whether she is on a day when she is likely to be fertile or not. The one medical criterion for using CycleBeads to prevent pregnancy is that a woman should have cycles between 26 and 32 days long.
How CycleBeads Work:
CycleBeads are a color-coded string of beads that represent a woman's menstrual cycle. Each bead represents a day of the cycle and the color helps a woman to determine if she is likely to be fertile that day.
The day a woman starts her period she puts the rubber ring on the red bead. Each day she moves the ring one bead, always in the direction of the arrow. When the ring is on the red bead or a dark bead, there is very low likelihood of pregnancy, so she can have intercourse on these days without getting pregnant. When the ring is on a white bead - Days 8 through 19 - there is a high likelihood of getting pregnant if a woman has unprotected intercourse.
Please note, the Standard Days Method, on which CycleBeads are based, works best for women with regular menstrual cycles that are between 26 and 32 days long. Women with cycles outside this range should use a different method of family planning.
Q. How effective are CycleBeads?
A. In studies conducted by the Institute for Reproductive Health, the method on which CycleBeads are based, The Standard Days Method, was found to be more than 95% effective. That means that, out of 100 women using the method for 1 year, fewer than 5 of them would get pregnant if they used the method correctly. However, the study also found that women who do not keep careful track of their cycle days or have unprotected intercourse on days 8 through 19 of their cycles are much more likely to get pregnant. When women sometimes used the method correctly, but sometimes had unprotected sex on days 8 through 19, 12 out of 100 got pregnant during their first year of use.
Q. What is the Standard Days Method?
A. 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?
A. 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. Can I use the Standard Days Method without using CycleBeads?
A. Yes you can. CycleBeads have been found to be an efficient, easy-to-use tool for helping women keep track of their cycles and know which days are fertile and which are not. However, a woman could simply keep track of her cycle on a calendar and count the days, starting with her period so that she would know when she was in her fertile window - Days 8 through 19 of her cycle - and could get pregnant. She would also need to be sure that her cycles were regularly between 26 and 32 days so that this fertile window is accurate for her.
Q. Why do women choose to use CycleBeads?
A. 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?
A. 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?
A. 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.
Q. Will CycleBeads protect me from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
A. No. Like most other family planning methods except condoms, the Standard Days Method on which CycleBeads are based does not protect people from STDs. If you think you are at risk of an STD, you should consult your doctor immediately to find out how you can protect yourself.
Q. Can anyone use CycleBeads?
A. No. The Standard Days Method, on which CycleBeads are based, works very well for women who usually have menstrual cycles between 26 and 32 days long. Women who often have cycles shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days are not good candidates for this method. Also, women who would not be able to avoid unprotected intercourse on the days they might get pregnant are not likely to be successful using this method. So, like any method of family planning, it isn't for everyone.
Q. How can I find out if CycleBeads will work for me?
A. CycleBeads are an easy-to-use tool that can help many women - whether they want to avoid pregnancy or to get pregnant. But they are not for everyone. Please take the Cycle Bead Self Screen to determine if they could work for you. Screen Yourself.
Q. Can I use CycleBeads if I am close to menopause?
A. 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.
Q. Why is it important that my partner is willing to use CycleBeads and understands how they work?
A. First it's important that both you and your partner agree about whether or not you want a pregnancy. It is also critical that both of you understand how CycleBeads work so that you can decide how to deal with the days when you can potentially get pregnant. For best results it is important that both you and your partner understand that you are likely to get pregnant if you have sex during your "fertile window." It is also critical that you decide beforehand what you will do during this "fertile window" if you are trying to avoid getting pregnant - you may decide to use another method or abstain from sex during this time.
For more information, please visit www.cyclebeads.com
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