As healthcare innovators, we’re aware that the more complex a product is, the less inclined people will be to use it. That’s why we want to make sure, especially when we’re designing contraception, that our products are easy to use. Making them simple, makes it more likely that people will use them correctly. While bells and whistles may be fun, and look cool or "scientific", we don’t want to confuse or overwhelm. We want users to feel confident that they know exactly what they're doing.
Many people think using a fertility awareness method for pregnancy prevention or planning, requires a woman to understand all aspects of her fertility. Although tracking multiple daily symptoms can be informative, ultimately it’s not necessary for the average person looking to plan pregnancy, prevent pregnancy, or just have a general awareness of her fertility. Think of it like asking car owners to understand the mechanisms of a car when really all they need to know to get where they want to go, is how to drive it. Knowledge is power, but knowledge that you can actually use, is even more powerful.
Simple = Innovation + Hard Work
We’ve been criticized for making our approaches to family planning too simple, but there’s beauty in simplicity, especially in the realm of fertility awareness-based methods. Our approach is straightforward and uncomplicated, but make no mistake – simplicity should not be confused with “dumbing down”. If anything, we’re streamlining fertility awareness-based methods so that they fit into our busy lives. We’re making them more useful, by doing the complex work behind the scenes.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
- Steve Jobs
Why Make Birth Control Simple?
“Typical Use” and “Perfect Use” are popular terms in the world of contraception, and ones you may have heard of already. In Perfect Use, no one ever makes a mistake – no one forgets to take their pill, or stays up late and throws off their basal body temperature. But Typical Use looks at how real people, living real lives, actually use their contraceptive method. Research shows that the consistent and correct use of a contraceptive method is the key to its efficacy. And surprise, surprise, the easier something is to understand and to use, the more likely it is that someone will use it correctly and consistently.
Can Fertility Awareness-Based Methods Be Simple?
Fertility Awareness-Based Methods (FABM’s) have been around for years. But historically they’ve been hard to teach and to use. (You can learn more about them in this post.) Many methods required a special trainer and months of study before you could even begin to use them. And once you committed to using them, you had to begin tracking information like your basal body temperature and secretions on a daily basis. What's more, you had to sift through charts and try to interpret those results.
This all changed with our introduction of CycleBeads and the Standard Days Method in 2002. This was the first simplified fertility awareness approach. It relied on a user tracking her period dates and used a fixed fertile window to determine when she could get pregnant. And efficacy studies showed it to be +95% effective in perfect use, and 88% effective in typical use. Since 2002, CycleBeads has been used by millions of women around the world and incorporated into the health systems of 60+ countries.
After that we introduced the TwoDay Method - a simple, symptoms-based approach that required a user to simply track the presence or absence of secretions each day.
And most recently, we launched Dot. Dot uses period tracking like CycleBeads, but it harnesses the power of technology to do ongoing, advanced assessments - allowing it to work for more women, to individualize the days that are considered fertile, and it is potentially even more effective (it's undergoing a contraceptive efficacy study with full results expected by end of year).
With Dot, CycleBeads, and the 2Day Method, we bring a new approach to fertility and contraception. We’re focused on providing effective and easy-to-use fertility awareness methods that women can learn easily and incorporate into their hectic lives.
Our products are streamlined, but advanced. We keep them simple enough so people around the world can use them consistently and correctly.
Interested in learning more about effective, natural contraception that's simple to use? Check out more about our methods at: