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I'm sure you've all known someone using "Natural" birth control. It goes by many names - "Family Planning," "Fertility Awareness Method" (FAM), and the "Rhythm Method."

Basically, you chart your menstrual cycle, so you know when you're ovulating. You avoid having sex around ovulation since having sex a few days before or after the day your egg is released, is a great way to become a mom.

Recently, I discovered CycleBeads. Don't they look a little like Rosary Beads? They're an easy visual way to chart your cycle.

The red bead symbolizes the first day of your period, so when Aunt Flo pops in for her monthly visit, just slip the little black ring on the red bead. Slide the ring down one bead each day. The darker beads represent days in your cycle where the risk of pregnancy is very LOW. The lighter beads are days when your risk is HIGH.

The CycleBeads Method ONLY works if you are completely aware and consistent about using it. Your cycle must be between 26 and 32 days. They're available for $13.95 online.

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Join The Conversation
EmEEk EmEEk 4 years
I use CycleBeads, that's fun that FitSugar covered them! In the 2 years I have used them, I have never had any surprises. There's a ton of misconception in the comments, so here's my experience & info from the website: CycleBeads were developed by Georgetown University. They are a calendar based method NOT the rhythm method which is a bunch of hoo-ha & doesn't work. CycleBeads, according to the website, are over 95% effective. They can be used to plan or prevent pregnancy. They've worked well for me - I am not religious. I was on the pill for years. I wanted a non-hormonal birth control that actually worked. They work for women with 26-32 day cycles, which is most of us but not all of us. Yes, you have to be proactive. It's a daily action (moving the counter) which is similar to taking a daily pill. When you are fertile, use a condom, don't have sex or get creative. If you use the pill or an iud, I think it's a great way to get to know your cycle. Hope that clears up some confusion! :) Here's the website for mas informacion:
Beaner Beaner 9 years
The 2 people I knew on this method are both moms now. Nonny mouse - I would agree with you - it's a good thing to know when you're ovulating - then I can understand why I'm crying for no real reason :)
redsugar redsugar 9 years
There is a joke, what are people who pratice the rythm method called? Parents.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 9 years
stress can mess up your cycle though and make you fertile at times when you don't think you are! this thing is so unreliable.
scratch5 scratch5 9 years
I tracked my cycle religiously and avoided conception for 5 years. You have to have the will power to use another method of birth control when ovulating - like condoms or a diaphragm, or as that book Taking Charge of Your Fertility says - try other forms of LOVE. It was worth it to me to not use the pill and not use condoms all the time. When I did want to get pregnant I knew when I was ovulating and had no problems conceiving. I heard about this necklace on NPR and asked my nurse practitioner about it. She had one and gave it to me. Now that I know how fertile I am (I have 2 wee ones running about) I got an IUD. I believe the necklace was created by the public health department at Boston College for religious women and for women who did not have access to other forms of birth control.
rubialala rubialala 9 years
Wow, who would use this to prevent pregnancy?!? I got pregnant through two forms of birth control (the pill and using a condom every time - YES, every time), there is no way I would just trust a little string with some beads on it.
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 9 years
I'd NEVER use this as a birth control method; rather, I would (if I could) use it as a method to help me gauge when I'm ovulating, in hopes of conceiving. (I have fertility problems and have been trying to get pregnant again for nearly a year and a half -- but my toddler took FIVE years of trying before we become pregnant with him. At this point, I need all the help I can get.)
julieulie julieulie 9 years
I can't stress enough that women should NOT rely on the rhythm method to prevent pregnancy. When I was doing my OB/GYN rotation, I was sent to a very religious Christian practice and saw a significant number of women who did not want to be pregnant but wound up as such because the rhythm method failed. I suppose it is better to try than nothing if you happen to be religious to the point of being against all forms of contraception, but there is a very, very high failure rate for this technique. If you cannot remember to take the pill on a daily basis then there are other options out there for birth control -- this is not one of the better ones!
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 9 years
They'd be wonderful, if only my cycle weren't so long.
DStirk DStirk 9 years
Has anyone ever tried this method? Does it work?
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