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Bringing easy-to-use, effective natural family planning to American women
Date:1/28/2009

s the development, testing, and scaling-up of fertility awareness-based methods of family planning. We have touched the lives of literally millions of people in developing countries, but our opportunities to work in the U.S. have been limited by the focus of our funding. This grant is an important step toward helping women in the United States," said Victoria Jennings, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Reproductive Health.

In the 2002 study, Dr. Jennings and colleagues reported the Standard Days Method to be more effective than either the diaphragm or condom in preventing pregnancy and easy to use. Based on sophisticated computer modeling of reproductive physiology data, the Standard Days Method identifies the 12-day "fertile window" of a woman's menstrual cycle. These 12 days take into account the life span of the woman's egg (about 24 hours) and the viable life of sperm (about 5 days) as well as the variation in the actual timing of ovulation from one cycle to the next.

To facilitate the use of the method, Institute researchers developed a color-coded string of beads called CycleBeads. As a visual tool, CycleBeads helps a woman track her cycle, know if she is on a day when pregnancy is likely or not, and ensure her cycle length is in the range to use the method effectively.

A 2008 Institute study found that the Standard Days Method brings a wider range of women to family planning by meeting their unmet needs. The most common reason study participants gave for choosing the Standard Days Method was that it "does not have side affects nor affect women's health" and also noted the low costs of CycleBeads. Although natural family planning methods are frequently associated with religious beliefs, relatively few women gave this reason for selecting the method.


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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
cfa3@georgetown.edu
202-687-1392
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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