Using SDM with CycleBeads®

CycleBeads are a string of color-coded beads that help a woman use the Standard Days Method (SDM) to know what days of her menstrual cycle she can get pregnant. 

How do CycleBeads work?

CycleBeads work for women whose periods are regularly between 26 and 32 days apart.

CycleBeads show 12 days during a woman's cycle when she could get pregnant. By moving the CycleBeads ring every day, she will be able to see what days she is likely to get pregnant. This is when the ring is on any of the white beads.

To prevent pregnancy, the woman and her spouse do not have sex on those days. 


How do I use CycleBeads?

Start using CycleBeads on the first day of your next period. This is the first day of your menstrual cycle.

  1. The first day you get your period move the ring to the red bead.

  2. Also, mark that day on your calendar.

  3. Continue moving the ring one bead each day. Move it even on the days when you are having your period.

  4. When the ring is on any of the white bead days, do not have sex. These are fertile days when you can get pregnant.

  5. You are not likely to get pregnant if you have sex when the ring is on any brown bead.

  6. When your next period starts, skip over any beads that are left and move the ring to the red bead to begin again.

How do I get CycleBeads?

You can order CycleBeads or find a local retailer at

How well does it work?

When used correctly, the method can effectively prevent pregnancy for women who have most cycles lasting 26 to 32 days. About 5 to 12 women out of 100 who use CycleBeads for a year may get pregnant.

What people like about CycleBeads:

  • It is natural and does not have hormones.

  • It does not cause health problems.

  • It helps couples learn about the woman's menstrual cycle.

  • It is simple and easy to use.

What some people don't like:

  • It is not for women with cycles shorter than 26 days or longer than 32 days.

  • You need to move the CycleBeads ring each day.