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Frequently Asked Questions

Standard Days Method (SDM)

SDM is a calendar-based method that tracks the fertile and safe days of the woman's menstrual cyle.
Husband and Wife Picture

SDM is a fertility awareness method that can be used by women if their menstrual cycles are 26 to 32 days long. Colored cycle beads are used to mark the fertile and infertile days of the woman’s menstrual cycle and to monitor her cycle length. Couples using SDM should abstain from sexual intercourse on fertile days (days 8 to 19) to avoid pregnancy.

About 5 per 100 women who consistently and correctly use the method and abstain on fertile days become pregnant over the first year of use.

The SDM works well for women who usually have menstrual cycles that are 26 to 32 days long. Women with cycles that are NOT 26 to 32 days long cannot use the method.

There are no side effects in using the SDM.

  • The client keeps track of the days of her menstrual cycle and counts the first day of her monthly bleeding as day 1.
  • Using the CycleBeads, the client moves the ring to the red bead to begin a new cycle and marks that day on her calendar. She moves the rubber ring one bead every day.
  • Days 8 to 19 of every cycle (when the ring is on the white beads) are considered fertile days for all SDM users.
  • The couple avoids vaginal sex (or uses condoms, spermicides, or withdrawal) during days 8 to 19.
  • The couple can have unprotected sex on all the other days of the cycle (when the ring is on the brown beads) -days 1 to 7 at the beginning of the cycle and from day 20 until her next monthly bleeding begins.
  • SDMs are provided for FREE in some City and Municipal Health Centers.
  • SDMs are for sale in some private clinics

Click HERE to search for Providers of “SDMs” located near you.

Source: “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Modern Family Planning Methods: Stop Rumors, Myths And Misconceptions with Correct Answers to Everyday Questions About Modern FP Method” by the Philippine DOH, USAID and JHPIEGO

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