CycleBeads: New Efective Birth Control Method

Sep 23, 2011
Those who are reluctant to use hormonal birth control methods may try new natural method called "Standard Days Method". Basically this is another variation of rhythm method that can be both used for getting pregnant as well as to avoid unwanted pregnancy.

The recent research from Institute of Reproductive Health at Georgetown University Medical Center showed that Standard Days Method is 95 percent effective at preventing pregnancy during the first three years. The study involved more than1, 600 women, who used this method for at least three years.

So what is the Standard Days Method? This method determines the 12-day fertile window of menstrual cycle. These fertile days account for the egg's lifespan (24 hours), viable life of sperm (about 5 days) and variations in actual timing of ovulation.

To help women identify those "fertile" and "infertile" days, specialists developed CycleBeads, a band with 32 color-coded beads, each of them indicating the days of menstrual cycle. You start with the red-colored bead when your periods begin, moving the rubber ring along one bead each day. The 12 glow-in-the-dark beads represent your fertile window, while the brown-colored beads indicate the days, when you are very unlikely to get pregnant. CycleBeads were developed by the Instutute for Reproductive Health and were previously considered an effective short-term family planning method. In fact, it can be used, if you are trying to conceive, as well as a way to avoid pregnancy.

Now, the new study shows that Standard Days Method can be an effective as long-term alternative. The failure rate is less than 5 percent, which is higher than some other birth control methods, such as condom or diaphragm.

The method is mostly suitable for women who have 26-32 day menstrual cycles and it does not have side effects.