[Originally posted on Cycle Technologies News here]

NEW DEHLI (May 4, 2016) – Women in India can now prevent pregnancy without side effects using a free smartphone app called CycleBeads®. The CycleBeads Android app is the only period tracker on Android that can be used for pregnancy prevention as well as planning. Based on research insights, the app has recently been improved to better meet the needs of Indian women and is now available in Hindi.

The CycleBeads app helps a woman know which days she is fertile and which days she is not based on her period start dates. A woman enters her period dates and the app gives her the information she needs to prevent or plan pregnancy. Researchers from Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) in New Delhi are testing the usage and impact of this mobile technology in India. “This type of modern contraceptive method can help address a huge unmet family planning need for women here. We want to understand how women find out about it, their interest, and ongoing use,” says Ramya Kancharla, IRH Country Manager, in New Delhi.

CycleBeads is a patented technology based on the Standard Days Method®, a family planning method that:

  • Was tested in large­scale efficacy trials and proven more than 95% effective​ at preventing pregnancy when used correctly, and 88% effective with typical use.
  • Is classified as a “modern contraceptive method”​ by the World Health Organization and other national and international medical advisors.
  • Is a widely used natural family planning option ​that has been used by approximately 5 million women worldwide ​in more than 60 countries, including India.
  • Is designed for women with cycles between 26 and 32 days long​– which is the majority of women, though not all.

“The CycleBeads app addresses many of the reasons women cite for not using contraception – it has no side effects, it allows women to plan ahead for their fertile days, and it is available for free to anyone with a smartphone” says Leslie Heyer, founder of Cycle Technologies, the company that developed the app. “CycleBeads apps have been used by many women worldwide, but we want to understand how it fits the unique needs of women in India.”

The CycleBeads Android app can be downloaded for free in the Google Marketplace.

Quick Facts About Family Planning Needs & Contraceptive Use in India:

  • Unmet Need for Contraception Nationally: 20.5%
  • Most Common Contraceptive Methods Ever Used: Female Sterilization (35.8%), Rhythm Method (15.9%), and Withdrawal (9.3%)
  • Reasons Indian Women Cite for Discontinuation of Contraception:
    • Fertility related (i.e., pregnant or planning pregnancy)
    • Side effects
    • Availability/difficulty in getting supplies
    • Cost
    • Opposition from husband
    • Infrequent intercourse
  • Average number of children an Indian woman will have in her lifetime: 3.9

Quick Facts About Smartphone Use in India:

  • India recently surpassed the U.S. to become the second largest market in the world for smartphones with over 200 million smartphone users.
  • The number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to reach over 750 million by 2020, up from 130 million in 2014.
  • On average, Indian smartphone users spend over three hours a day on their smartphones and 25 percent of them check their phones over 100 times a day. Sources: International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), 2010. District Level Household and Facility Survey (DLHS­3), 2007­08: India. Mumbai: IIPS. 2015 Ericsson Mobility Report

Sources: International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), 2010. District Level Household and Facility Survey (DLHS­3), 2007­08: India. Mumbai: IIPS. 2015 Ericsson Mobility Report

 

Posted In: News, Standard Days Method®, Mobilizing technology for reproductive health, Family Planning