In the latest episode of the Fertility Friday podcast, host Lisa interviewed Dr. Victoria Jennings, Director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health.
Fertility Friday is an informational podcast that explores fertility awareness-based methods of family planning and other topics related to fertility and the menstrual cycle.
In introducing SDM, Dr. Jennings described how many years ago, she witnessed a training of medical professionals who were struggling to understand the complexity of the symptothermal method of family planning. It was the moment of inspiration for a simple and reliable method.
“[My colleagues and I] began talking about this and said, ‘We really need to do something about this. It’s a terrific opportunity to come up with something that will be appropriate for so many more women around the world.’ We were thinking particularly in low-resource settings at the time, but in fact these methods have spread far beyond that.”
Taking into account the variability of cycle length, the functional life span of the sperm and the egg, and ovulation, “…we determined that most women who have menstrual cycles between 26 and 32 days long could consider themselves fertile from days eight through 19 of their cycles,” Dr. Jennings explained.
CycleBeads followed shortly after, fulfilling the need for a simple and visual tool that women could use to understand their menstrual cycle.
“I was struck by the potential for this method to actually help so many couples worldwide,” Lisa said. “It puts the control in the women’s hands themselves.”
Dr. Jennings and Lisa also discussed the CycleBeads™ Smartphone Apps and Dot™ — options that expand the availability of SDM to smartphone users.
“It all comes back to our desire here at the Institute for Reproductive Health, to make these methods as widely available and accessible to women – and couples – as we can, and that is what has driven us,” Dr. Jennings said.
Listen to a full recording of the podcast here.