SDM is a fertility awareness-based method of family planning that helps users identify the reproductive cycle. Users avoid unprotected sexual intercourse during these days. A cross-sectional community-based study was conducted in four operational areas of Pathfinder International Ethiopia. 184 SDM users were included in the study. The study aimed to examine the experience of introducing the SDM at the community level in Ethiopia.

Of the 184 participants, 80.4% were still using the SDM at the survey time, with 35% having used it for between 6 and 12 months. The majority knew that a woman is most likely to conceive halfway through her menstrual cycle. Nearly 91% correctly said that the SDM does not confer protection from sexually transmitted infections/AIDS. A substantial majority had correctly identified what each color-coded bead represents in the CycleBeads®, and an aggregate of 90.5% of women practiced all the elements of correct use.

This study concluded that the importance of the SDM in increasing the availability and accessibility of family planning and the potential to improve family planning method choice and method mix by expanding the use of the SDM.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/38/3/157