Developed at Georgetown University"s Institute for Reproductive Health by researchers, Cyclebeads is designed for women with menstrual cycles between 26-32 days and works on the Standard Days Method (SDM).
The whole phenomenon works on the colour coded string of beads, which acts as the days of a woman's menstrual cycle. Simple to use, a woman can track each day of her cycle by just moving a ring over the beads. The colour of the beads makes it more easy, as it signals to whether she is on a day when she is fertile or not.
One may use Cyclebeads by putting the rubber ring on the red bead on a day the woman experiences menstrual flow. If the ring is on a dark or red bead, there are little chances of pregnancy making it safe for intercourse. If the ring is on a white bead, there are high chances of becoming pregnant, with unprotected intercourse. The method is safe and thus does not have any side effects.
Cyclebeads was launched at a function by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister.
“Along with Hindi and English, we should introduce supporting literature for this product in Urdu so that Urdu-speaking people from rural areas also get benefit," said Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Talking about the product, HLL Lifecare Chairman and Managing Director M. Ayyappan said, “HLL has been doing the manufacturing operations for the product as per the specifications of Cycle Technologies and distributing the product to Institute of Reproductive Health (IRH) and HLFPPT (Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust) under the brand names of 'Mala Chakra" and 'Ritumala" respectively."
“We laud the Jharkhand government for becoming the first state to introduce Standard Days Method and Cyclebeads to the remotest of villages through frontline workers. Kit is currently available in 12 of the state"s 24 districts," he said, adding, “The government"s focused efforts have resulted in more than 40,000 users in the state."
He further said, “Cyclebeads, based on the Standard Days Method, not only empowers women but also engages men in family planning. Engaging and sensitizing men about their role in family planning is a need also addressed by other methods such as vasectomy and condoms. Thus, the Cyclebeads method supports the government"s efforts to engage men vis-À-vis family planning."
“Also, it contributes to reduced burden on clinical providers by engaging ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) in services, bridges gap in unmet need, attracts new family planning users and can be used by educated or illiterate women alike regardless of age, religion or rural/urban residence," he said.
“HLL is trying to expand its contraceptives portfolio by many such innovative products in the Indian context. Cyclebeads is a pilot social marketing project of HLL and its efforts towards making this innovative product more widely available is critical to the success of this method in India. We strongly believe that the product will actually complement the usage of condoms, by enabling partners to know their fertile period and take precaution, thereby," he added.