Standard Days Method®

3 Indian women discussing reproductive health Source - Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University

The Standard Days Method (SDM)® is an effective, modern natural method of family planning developed through scientific analysis of the fertile time in the woman's menstrual cycle.

Recent guidance from WHO describes how the method, with its low supply cost and attractiveness for couples who have not previously used contraception, can be procured by programs and offered by different levels of providers.

The SDM has helped expand contraceptive options and addresses unmet need. CycleBeads® facilitate provision and use of SDM by helping a woman track her cycle days, know which days she is fertile, and monitor her cycle lengths.


By the end of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Define the Standard Days Method®  and CycleBeads®  and how it works
  • List the advantages and challenges of SDM

  • Understand the factors that facilitate or limit use of SDM, including common misconceptions

  • Describe how SDM and CycleBeads can be made more available in country programs

  • Understand the essential steps for integrating SDM into the family planning method mix


Course Contributers

Jeannette Cachan, MA, Director of Training (IRH); Rebecka Lundgren, MPH, Director of Research (IRH); Susan Igras, MPH, Director of Field Programs (IRH); Meredith Puleio, MBA (IRH); Susana Birdsong, MA (IRH); Sophie Savage (IRH)

Photo Credits

All photos used throughout the Standard Days Method elearning are the property of The Institute for Reproductive Health. For additional information on the photo or graphic, please see the caption on each page, if available.


  • 2 hours


  • Thursday, August 11, 2022

Course Authors: 

  • Institute for Reproductive Health, Georgetown University

Course Managers: 

  • Jeannette Cachen

Related Toolkits