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The standard days method is a kind of calendar method. It’s simpler than other FAMs, but you can only use it if your cycles are a certain length and regular.

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How do I use the standard days method?

You can only use the standard days method if:

  • Your menstrual cycle is really regular (your periods always come at the same time).

  • Your cycle is never shorter than 26 days.

  • Your cycle is never longer than 32 days.

  • You’re okay with either not having vaginal sex or using birth control from day 8 through day 19 of each cycle.

To use the standard days method, you simply don’t have vaginal sex or use another method of birth control on days 8-19 of your cycle.

Most people using the standard days method use an app or have a special string of beads, called CycleBeads, that helps them keep track of their cycles. CycleBeads have 33 colored beads and a black rubber ring that moves from bead to bead.

Breastfeeding, a recent pregnancy, and hormonal birth control (including the morning-after pill) can mess with your menstrual cycle and affect how well the standard days method will work. Check out www.cyclebeads.com for more information.


  • 76% effective

  • Up to $20 for supplies

  • Dedication required

  • No sex on certain days

FAMs don’t protect you from STDs. Use a condom with FAMs to help protect you from pregnancy and STDs.
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