What is basal temperature and how to measure it

What is basal temperature and how to measure it

What is basal temperature and how to measure it

June 19, 2020

Educational program Health

This is a way to predict ovulation, pregnancy and periods.
Photo by Ekaterina Komissarova

Ekaterina Komissarova

Lifehacker medical journalist

What is basal temperature and how to measure it


What is basal body temperature

Basal called the temperature, which is measured in the rectum, mouth or vagina. But this concept is not about the place of measurement.

The Greek word basis means “basis”, “base”. Accordingly, the basal temperature is “basic”. It represents the temperature of the body in a state of complete rest.

Each person has their own basal temperature. As a rule, she fluctuates 36.1°C to 36.6°C.

The basal temperature can be caught in the morning, immediately after sleep, but strictly before you get out of bed: from any physical activity, the body warms up, so the measurements will be incorrect.

Reading now 🔥
  • What to do if the temperature is kept at 37 ° C

Why measure basal temperature

Basal temperature is closely related to hormones. Depending on the hormonal background, it may decrease slightly or, on the contrary, increase. These changes are tracked by using a thermometer daily and recording the obtained values ​​on a graph. It turns out something like this picture:

Illustration: Tatata / Wikimedia Commons

The female hormone estrogen has a key influence on changes in basal temperature, so the resulting graph is most informative for women. In men, the fluctuations will not be so pronounced.

The basal temperature chart is considered one of the natural family planning methods. It is suitable for those couples who do not force things, but in general do not mind having children. The method is rather unreliable. For example, in some women, ovulation is not accompanied by a sharp increase in temperature. Or this figure is growing, but because of SARS. Stress, lack of sleep and other factors also play a role in fluctuations in basal body temperature.

But if you know about these factors and make notes in the drawing, the risk of errors can be minimized. Just record the changes month after month – and in the end you will find patterns that will allow you to understand the intricacies of your personal menstrual cycle. Here’s what you can do with a graph.

Visually see how the monthly cycle develops

In the first half of the cycle, basal temperature fluctuates from about 36.1 ° C to 36.4 ° C and changes smoothly from day to day, decreasing or increasing literally by 0.1 ° C.

Determine ovulation

During ovulation, the egg is released from the ovary and travels to the uterus. A couple of days before and after this event are considered the most “fertile” period of the monthly cycle. It is noticed that immediately before the release of the egg, the basal rate drops sharply, and when it goes on a journey through the fallopian tube, it rises, up to 37 ° C.

If you want to have a child, it’s worth having unprotected sex right after you see a dip in the chart and the subsequent rapid increase.

Calculate “safe” days in terms of possible conception

If you are hoping to avoid pregnancy, unprotected sex forbidden from the beginning of the menstrual cycle and up to 3-4 days after the “ovulation” increase in basal temperature.

If you are not ready for pregnancy, choose a more reliable method of contraception – condoms or birth control prescribed by your gynecologist.

Predict when your period will come

This will happen shortly after the temperature starts to drop to the standard values ​​for the first half of the cycle.

Detect Pregnancy

If your “ovulatory” temperature rise does not subside within 18 days, you are most likely pregnant.

How to measure basal temperature

First of all, you will need a thermometer. A regular mercury or electronic one will do, but it’s better to buy a basal one: such gadgets are more accurate and more convenient to use in the rectum or vagina. The thermometer must be prepared in advance by putting it on the bedside table near the bed in the evening.

Here are some important measurement rules:

  1. Determine the temperature in the same place. Choose any location: mouth, anus, vagina. And don’t change it later.
  2. Try to take your temperature at the same time. Indulgence – a maximum of half an hour to an hour. For example, if you started doing this at 8 am, the thermometer should not be used before 7 o’clock and later than 9. If you failed to keep the time, make a note on the graph – the result may not be entirely reliable.
  3. Get enough sleep. For an accurate result, you must sleep for at least 3 hours before measuring.
  4. Use the thermometer strictly before you get out of bed. If you measure at 8, but woke up at 6 today because you wanted to use the toilet, first find out the temperature. So the results will be more reliable.
  5. Take your temperature only while lying down. That is why it is important that the thermometer is on the bedside table – you should easily reach it with your hand.
  6. Write down the temperature immediately after the measurement – so as not to forget and not get confused in approximately the same values.
  7. Draw a graph on graph paper. Be sure to note any events that may have affected…






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *