Based on sophisticated computer modeling of reproductive physiology data, the Standard Days Method identifies the 12-day "fertile window" of a woman's menstrual cycle. These 12 days take into account the life span of the woman's egg (about 24 hours) and the viable life of sperm (about 5 days) as well as the variation in the actual timing of ovulation from one cycle to the next. The study found the efficacy of the Standard Days Method to be comparable to or better than a number of other widely used methods of family planning, including the diaphragm and condom.
The two-year clinical trial evaluated the effectiveness of the Standard Days Method of family planning for 478 women in Bolivia, Peru and the Philippines. The women were of childbearing age with menstrual cycles between 26 and 32 days long. The study followed the women over 13 cycles.
"Millions of women worldwide use no form of family planning whatsoever, even though they do not want to become pregnant. And millions more rely on periodic abstinence as their primary form of family planning, but do not have a clear understanding of which days in their cycle they should avoid unprotected intercourse," said Victoria Jennings, PhD, Georgetown professor of obstetrics and gynecology and principal investigator of the study. "Clearly there is a need for a simpler, easier method of natural family planning--and that is where the Standard Days Method can really fill a void."
To help women keep track of which days to avoid unprotected intercourse, the Institute for Reproductive Health developed CycleBeads
Contact: Beth Porter
Georgetown University Medical Center