Nirodh maker to launch new ‘bead-based’ contraceptive

HLL Lifecare, India’s largest contraceptive maker and the firm behind Nirodh, Moods and Mala D, has launched a new product based only on the female reproductive cycle.

Called CycleBeads, the product is comprised simply of a string of coloured beads. As the beads are moved one by one on each day, the woman is able to make out which days she is likely to conceive if she has sex and which days she does not need to worry.

“..a woman has to put the rubber ring on the red bead on the day she starts her period. Each day she moves the ring one bead. While the ring is on a red or dark bead, there is little possibility of pregnancy and thus safe for intercourse. When the ring is on a white bead — Days 8 through 19 – there is a high possibility of becoming pregnant, with unprotected intercourse,” the government-owned company said.

The intuitive product was designed by researchers at Georgetown University’s Institute for Reproductive Health and is licensed by the US-based Cycle Technologies.

The method, which does not require any surgery, pills or other such interventions, has a success rate of around 95%, the company claimed. Traditional contraceptives such as the condom and pills are effective in around 97% of cases.

However, unlike other chemical contraceptives, the ‘ritumala’ has absolutely no side-effects and is a safe option for those looking to delay, rather than prevent themselves from, having children. The technology can be used as a supplement to condoms.

It “attracts newly married couples, who would otherwise choose not to use a family planning method because of perceived fear about its impact on fertility,” HLL Lifecare said.

The product has been tested successfully, especially in Jharkhand where it is available in 12 of the state’s 24 districts.

It is estimated that around 14.1% of the families in rural India do not use any form of family planning and the country adds more heads to the global population count than any other.