Standard Days Method Toolkit

The Standard Days Method (SDM) is a simple fertility awareness-based method of family planning based on a woman's menstrual cycle. Appropriate for women who have menstrual cycles between 26 and 32 days long, the method identifies days 8 through 19 as the fertile days. To prevent pregnancy, the couple avoids unprotected sex on the fertile days. A woman can use CycleBeads®, a color-coded string of beads, to help track the days of her menstrual cycle and see which days she is most likely to get pregnant.

This Toolkit, from the Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH), is for program managers who want to integrate SDM into family planning and reproductive health services. The guidelines and resources in this toolkit are based on the experience of more than twenty international and local organizations that successfully have introduced this simple natural method into their countries' family planning programs.

Resources on Essential Knowledge, Policies and Guidelines, Program Implementation, Logistics and Procurement, Training and Supervision, Method Provision, Advocacy, IEC (Information, Education, and Communication),  and Country Experiences are available. Access links to these resources by using the horizontal navigation tabs at the top of every page.

Links to reports, examples of materials, and field notes from 17 country-specific projects and programs are listed under the Country Experiences tab, including from Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Madagascar and Senegal.

Regional toolkits featuring resources and experiences in French and Spanish specifically from francophone Africa and Guatemala, as well as India are also available here:


If you have an experience to share about SDM, we invite you to tell us about it through the feedback form, where you can also suggest new resources. To find out if a resource has already been included in this toolkit, type the title in the search box. Currently, there are resources from more than a dozen organizations and publishers in this toolkit. Go to the About section at the top of this page to find more detailed information about this and other K4Health eToolkits.


What are K4Health Toolkits?

What is the purpose of this toolkit?

Who developed this toolkit?

What types of resources are included in this toolkit?

How can I suggest a resource to include in this toolkit?

How can I make a comment or give feedback about this toolkit?

Toolkit last updated: March 27, 2019