SDM Overview

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 usually have menstrual cycles between 26 and 32 days long, the method identifies days 8 though 19 as the fertile days. To prevent pregnancy, the couple avoids unprotected sex on the fertile days. SDM has a 95% efficacy rate when used correctly. 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.

Quick Facts about SDM

  • 95% effective in preventing pregnancy with correct use, 88% with typical use.
  • Natural and has no side effects.
  • Easy to teach, use and learn.
  • Teaches women about their fertility.
  • Can enhance male involvement and couple communication.
  • Requires a one-time, low cost purchase for CycleBeads users.
  • Developed in 2001 and introduced in over 30 countries worldwide.
  • Considered a modern method of family planning by international organizations and ministries of health worldwide.

SDM is a Modern Method of Family Planning

In addition to providing significant protection from unintended pregnancies, modern methods of family planning share certain characteristics, including that they:

  • are based on a sound understanding of reproductive biology,
  • follow a precise protocol for correct use, and
  • have been tested in an appropriately designed study to assess efficacy under various conditions.

SDM meets these criteria and as such, is regarded as a modern method by international organizations and ministries of health around the world. Read the technical brief, which details further justification, here.

Please visit the Advocacy tab for a complete list of peer-reviewed journal articles and other publications about the SDM.