Public Release: 

CycleBeads help women manage their fertility

Now available in classic and deluxe versions

Georgetown University Medical Center

Washington, D.C. - More than half a million women around the world, including an estimated 50,000 in the United States, use natural family planning methods developed by Georgetown University Medical Center's Institute for Reproductive Health. Many of these women and thousands of others use CycleBeads® a visual aid developed by the Institute to help women manage their fertility to plan or prevent pregnancy.

Now CycleBeads are available in a deluxe man-made cats-eye version in three colors. "There is a growing interest in the United States in effective, easy-to-use natural family planning. We're pleased that the manufacturer is making this new version available, as it may appeal to more women," said Victoria Jennings, Ph.D, director of the Institute for Reproductive Health and co-developer of CycleBeads.

According to Leslie Heyer, President of Cycle Technologies, the company that manufactures and distributes CycleBeads under license from Georgetown University, deluxe CycleBeads are a response to consumer demand. "We heard from many women that they wanted something more attractive that they could carry with them or leave out on their nightstands. They also wanted options in terms of the colors."

Like the classic CycleBeads, the deluxe version is a string of 32 color-coded beads which identifies the 12-day "fertile window" of a woman's menstrual cycle. A reddish bead marks the first day of a woman's cycle, the colored beads represent days when pregnancy is unlikely, and the white beads represent days when pregnancy is likely. A black marker is used to track the days.

To use CycleBeads, a woman simply moves the black marker over the color-coded beads that represent her fertile and low fertility days. Each day she moves the ring one bead, always in the direction of the arrow located on the clasp. When the ring is on any of the colored beads, there is a very low likelihood of pregnancy. When the ring is on the white beads, which glow-in-the-dark in classic CycleBeads, there is a high probability of getting pregnant.

"Evidence suggests that 20% of women are unsuccessful in their attempts to get pregnant simply because they do not know on which days pregnancy is most likely. And most women who want to avoid pregnancy have no idea on which days of their cycles they are most likely to become pregnant. Knowing exactly when they are fertile is critical to women whether they want to achieve a pregnancy or avoid one. Using either CycleBeads enables a woman to manage her fertility easily, effectively and inexpensively," said Dr. Jennings, who is a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center.

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The Institute for Reproductive Health has developed the only natural methods of family planning that have been clinically tested and introduced on an international scale in more than 25 years. CycleBeads are available through healthcare providers, retailers and online at www.cyclebeads.com.

Notes to editors:

To download a high resolution photo of classic CycleBeads go to: https://gushare.georgetown.edu/xythoswfs/webui/_xy-3816876_2-t_lmcIJ83Y

Photos of deluxe CycleBeads can be found at www.cyclebeads.com

Cycle Technologies is donating $1 from the sale of every set of deluxe Cyclebeads to The Girls Project - a U.S. empowerment program for public elementary, middle, and high school girls. Additional proceeds are dedicated to programs expanding family planning options in developing countries and helping people make informed choices about their reproductive health.

About the Institute for Reproductive Health

The Institute for Reproductive Health is dedicated to helping women and men make informed choices about family planning and providing them with simple and effective natural options. As part of Georgetown University's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Institute conducts research to develop natural methods of family planning and tests them in service delivery settings.

About Georgetown University Medical Center

Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through our partnership with MedStar Health). Our mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis - or "care of the whole person." The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing and Health Studies, both nationally ranked, the world-renowned Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization.

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