The Standard Days Method (SDM) is a fertility awareness-based method that helps women keep track of the days of their menstrual cycle and see which days they are likely to get pregnant.
The Standard Days Method (SDM) relies on a fixed “window” of fertility that makes it easy for women to know when they are likely to become pregnant. To avoid pregnancy, a woman with menstrual cycles between 26 and 32 days long should either use a back-up method of contraception or refrain from unprotected intercourse on cycle days 8 through 19. A color-coded string of beads, called CycleBeads®, are used to help women keep track of the days of their menstrual cycle and identify which days they are likely to get pregnant.
PSI first launched the SDM in 2004 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and now distribute the product in Benin, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Rwanda as part of our broad range of family planning methods and services. In 2016 we distributed 36,195 CycleBeads®, averting 38,671 DALYs (disability-adjusted life years) and providing 54,294 CYPs (couple years of protection).
Clinical trials show that SDM is more than 95% effective with correct use and more than 88% effective with typical use among women who reported regular cycles of 26 to 32 days.
SDM offers women a variety of benefits:
- It is a natural family planning method with no hormones, side effects, or surgical procedures necessary.
- One set of CycleBeads® will last for years before needing to be replaced. Therefore, it is cost-effective in the long term.
- A client does not have to go to a medical provider or pharmacists to receive the product but can find it in non-specialized shops. When possible, SDM is integrated into a broader contraceptive method mix and is offered to women as one option in a full range of both hormonal and non-hormonal contraceptive methods.
Making a Difference
Many couples in rural Nigeria lack access to family planning services and to correct information about modern contraceptive methods. The Society for Family Health (SFH), a PSI independent network member, is bridging this gap with the natural modern contraceptive method known as Standard Days Method (SDM) using CycleBeads®.
SFH works with community-based organizations, local governments, trained male and female community-based healthcare providers, and interpersonal communication (IPC) agents to promote SDM and distribute CycleBeads®. Additionally, SFH uses religious and community leaders, posters, job aids, and radio dramas focused on CycleBeads® to create awareness and increase acceptance of the method.
SFH has found that the majority of SDM users feel the method is effective and acceptable. Users obtain information about SDM from their healthcare providers, friends, neighbors, clinics, and pamphlets. Interestingly, men who are initially reticent about spacing their children also consider the method acceptable.
- Niger Male Segmentation Analysis
Quantitative analysis of men’s attitudes and behaviors related to contraception and family planning leading to behavioral/-attitudinal segmentation in Niger
- Transform/PHARE Project Fact Sheet
Project fact sheet for Transform/PHARE
- National Demand Analysis – Quantitative Study and Target Group Segmentation
Randomized, nationwide representative study of FP needs and analysis of behaviors and attitudes of women.
- National Demand Analysis – Qualitative Assessment
Qualitative analysis of family planning needs in Cote d’Ivoire to inform quantitative research leading to behavioral/attitudinal segmentation.
- Analysis of the Social Networks of Family Planning in the Zinder and Maradi Regions (Sawki Project Sites)
Social network analysis proves useful to identify influencers of specific target audiences, such as “sheltered skeptics” according to a segmentation study conducted previously in Niger.
- Transform/PHARE SBCC Landscaping Using TMA
Conducting SBCC landscaping with an overall overview of the market helps understand the place for communications – to all actors – related to the FP market; suppliers and providers may also benefit from a better perspective of the clients’ needs, barriers, and aspirations.
- Analysis of Obstacles and Barriers to the Offer of Family Planning by Providers
Provider barriers in Cote d’Ivoire are not too different than those found in the region and worldwide. The most important limitations observed are personal biases, whether social, cultural or religious, along with misinformation or misconceptions on methods and side effects. Providers who manage to succeed overcoming such barriers seem to show empathy, active listening skills and have made an effort to understand all available methods to give the choice to the client.
- Nigeria FPwatch 2015 Reference Document
This outlet report contains the findings from the 2015 FPwatch outlet survey conducted in Nigeria.
- Nigeria FPwatch 2015 Outlet Survey Research Brief
This brief highlights important findings from the FPwatch 2015 Nigeria outlet survey.
- Nigeria FPwatch 2015 Overview
This document summarizes the implementation and key findings of the FPwatch 2015 outlet survey in Nigeria.