Thiruvananthapuram: It`s simple, inexpensive and non-clinical. The country`s largest condom manufacturer, HLL Lifecare Ltd (HLL), has now come out with a family planning method for women that just requires them to count beads.
Called Cyclebeads, it is a colour-coded string of beads that represents the days of a woman`s menstrual cycle. A woman simply has to move a ring over the beads to track each day of her cycle. The colour of the beads lets her know whether she is on a day when she can conceive.
The product has an ex-factory price of Rs.50.
Developed by researchers at Georgetown University`s Institute for Reproductive Health, Cyclebeads is based on the Standard Days Method (SDM) and is very effective in preventing unplanned pregnancies.
The method is designed for women with cycles between 26 and 32 days.
A woman has to put a rubber ring on the red bead the day she starts her period. Each day she moves the ring by one bead. If the ring is on a red or dark bead, there is little possibility of pregnancy and so the day is safe for intercourse.
If the ring is on a white bead -- days 8 through 19 -- there is a high possibility of becoming pregnant with unprotected intercourse.
Cyclebeads are manufactured and distributed in the country through an agreement between HLL and Cycle Technologies (US), the original licensee. HLL is headquartered here.
HLL Lifecare chairman and managing director M. Ayyappan said they are carrying on the manufacturing operations as per the specifications of Cycle Technologies.
"Cyclebeads, based on the Standard Days Method, not only empowers women but also engages men in family planning. We strongly believe that the product will actually complement the usage of condoms by enabling partners to know their fertile period and take precaution. Besides, this is an easy-to-use method which does not require resupplies, thereby improving access to family planning," said Ayyappan.
The Jharkhand government became the first state to introduce Cyclebeads and now has 40,000 users in the state.