All you need to know to understand what the basal temperature in pregnancy consists of. What it is and how it is measured
The basal temperature method – a fertility awareness-based method – is a type of natural family planning. Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you are completely at rest. Ovulation can cause a slight increase in basal body temperature.
You will be more fertile two or three days before the temperature rises. By monitoring your basal body temperature each day, you may be able to predict when you will ovulate. This can help you determine when you are most likely to conceive.
If you are hoping to get pregnant, you can use the basal body temperature method to determine the best days to have sex. Likewise, if you are hoping to avoid pregnancy, you can use the basal body temperature method to figure out which days to avoid unprotected sex.
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Why use basal temperature
Basal body temperature can be used as a way to predict fertility or as part of a method of contraception, helping you gauge the best days to have or avoid unprotected sex.
Monitoring basal body temperature for fertility or contraception is inexpensive and has no side effects. The basal body temperature method can also be used to detect pregnancy. After ovulation, an increase in basal body temperature lasting for 18 or more days may be an early indicator of pregnancy.
Monitoring your basal body temperature does not require special preparation. However, if you want to use basal body temperature in conjunction with another fertility awareness-based method for birth control, consult your doctor first if:
- You recently gave birth or stopped taking birth control pills or other hormonal contraceptives
- You are breastfeeding
- You are approaching menopause
Keep in mind that your basal body temperature can be affected by many factors, including:
- Illness or fever
- Do shift work
- Interrupted sleep cycles or excessive sleep
- Travel and time zone differences
- Gynecological disorders
- Some medications
How to use the basal temperature
Take your basal body temperature every morning before you get out of bed. Use a digital oral thermometer or one specifically designed to measure basal body temperature. Make sure you get at least three hours of continuous sleep every night to ensure an accurate reading.
For the most accurate results, always measure the temperature using the same method. Try to take your temperature at the same time every day when you first wake up.
Track your temperature readings. Record your daily basal body temperature and look for a pattern. You can do this on a paper chart or an app designed for this purpose.
Basal body temperature may rise slightly – typically less than 0.3 C – during ovulation. Ovulation is likely to have occurred when the slightly higher temperature remains constant for three days or more.
Plan your sexual intercourse carefully during the fertile days. You are most fertile about two days before your basal body temperature rises.
If you are hoping to get pregnant, now is the time to have intercourse. If you’re hoping to avoid pregnancy, unprotected sex is forbidden from the start of your menstrual cycle until three or four days after your basal body temperature rises, every month.
High basal temperature
The persistence of high basal temperature is also among the symptoms of an ongoing pregnancy. If the rise in basal temperature (value close to 37 ° C) continues to be present from the second half of the cycle to beyond the concomitant period of missed menstruation, it is a very sure sign of‘conception occurred, obviously it only works if the temperature is monitored from the start of the cycle, otherwise it cannot actually rise.
Low basal temperature
What does it mean if the basal temperature is always low? Since progesterone is the main responsible for the rise in temperature, it is conceivable that an always low value is a symptom of the absence of ovulation or in any case of a deficient ovulation.