IRH: Meeting the needs of adolescents with the CycleSmart Kit

20 FEBRUARY 2013 | Research findings from Institute of Reproductive Health’s (IRH) work in Rwanda and Guatemala suggest adolescent girls are receiving insufficient guidance on puberty, fertility awareness and menstrual onset. As a result, IRH developed the CycleSmart Kit, a package tailored to girls ages 12-14 which includes CycleBeads®, the color-coded beads used to keep track of the fertile days of a woman's menstrual cycle, and an age-appropriate brochure which includes topics like the menstrual cycle, puberty-related changes, risk of pregnancy, gender norms, and safety tips. It may also include sanitary pads, a calendar, and a weekly diary (see Kit image below).

The CycleSmart Kit was developed and tested in collaboration with youth-serving organizations in Rwanda and is based on research conducted with adolescents, their parents, and their communities. This tool can be used to teach young girls and boys about important topics around puberty in a visual, tactile and very concrete way.