Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



In 2002, an article in Contraception reported on a trial for a new method of contraception, the Standard Days Method (SDM). SDM is a fertility awareness-based family planning (FP) method that identifies the eighth through nineteenth days of a woman’s menstrual cycle as the fertile window. SDM users abstain or use barrier methods during their fertile periods to prevent pregnancy. The trial established a first-year method failure rate of 5 per 100 woman years with correct use, and 12 per 100 women for typical use. Over the decade since the publication of the original efficacy trial, the Georgetown University Institute for Reproductive Health and other organizations have introduced and scaled up SDM in a number of countries to expand method access and use for women with unmet contraceptive needs. This working paper reviews the published peer-reviewed and grey literature on SDM from more than a decade of research. The evidence demonstrates the feasibility of integrating SDM into national or subnational FP service delivery, and documents experiences of scaling up SDM in five countries: DRC, Guatemala, India, Mali, and Rwanda.






The Evidence Project