- What is Basal Body Temperature (BBT)?
- What is a Basal Body Thermometer?
- What to Look for When Searching for a BBT Digital Thermometer?
- What is a Basal Body Temperature Chart?
- What Should Your Basal Body Temperature Be When Ovulating?
- How Effective is The Basal Body Temperature Method?
- Best Basal Thermometers with Reviews 2019
- Putting It All Together
Looking for a natural and effective way to plan or control your pregnancy? Are you tired of taking pills or using other contraception methods and suffering the horrible side effects (like weight gain, headaches, and dryness down south…ugh!)?
Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or preventing pregnancy like me, tracking your basal body temperature daily will help you plan your actions well during your ovulation period.
How are you going to do that? With the help of the best basal thermometer of course!
What is Basal Body Temperature (BBT)?
Basal body temperature is your body’s lowest temperature during rest. This is often estimated by checking your temperature as soon as you wake up and before engaging in any of your daily activities.
Tracking your BBT is a good and cost-effective method to determine your most fertile days (when you are likely to get pregnant) and non-fertile days.
When getting your BBT, ensure that you:
- Take your BBT at the same time daily starting from the first day of your period.
- Take your BBT as soon as you open your eyes – keep your BBT thermometer by your bedside table or within reach so you don’t have to get up.
- Take your BBT after a solid night’s sleep (not after an afternoon nap or power naps).
- Record your temperature reading using a fertility tracker app, plain ol’ diary or a printable template.
- Use one of the best basal body thermometers.
What is a Basal Body Thermometer?
Ok, the short sentence is it’s a thermometer that measures your basal body temperature.
But the question we all want to know is: is there a difference between a basal thermometer and regular?
A basal thermometer is more temperature sensitive and accurate than the regular thermometers. It can measure body temperatures by the 10ths of a degree (even 1/100th of a degree).
For example, regular thermometers can read 98.6°F whereas a BBT thermometer can give you an accurate reading of 98.63°F. See the difference?
For us tracking BBTs, that .03 makes a huge difference, we want to be as accurate as possible in determining our fertility days.
There are two types of basal thermometers in the market: Mercury-free Glass and Digital Thermometers.
While glass thermometers are accurate and cheaper, it’s quite inconvenient to use compared to digital thermometers. No wonder digital thermometers are considered as the best basal body thermometer and are a popular choice among women.
What to Look for When Searching for a BBT Digital Thermometer?
Look for thermometers that offer an accurate reading at least to the tenth degree.
The best basal thermometer should have a big memory to store your data.
For sleepy heads like me, I sometimes drift back to sleep after taking my BBT that I forget what the reading was. Having a memory function saves me from skipping a day of data by showing me the last recorded temperature.
A nice, subtle beep is helpful to pull you back to earth when you start drifting off with a thermometer in your mouth (not so fast missy!).
We need a gentle beep to remind us that the reading is done, not one that would wake the entire universe.
Monitor/Digital Display Area
It should be large enough and easy to read. If it comes with a backlight, then that’s a plus (you know how terrible lighting is in the wee hours of the morning)!
What is a Basal Body Temperature Chart?
A BBT chart is your collected BBT data from daily temperature readings. It helps you determine your fertile days and understand how your cycle works (which is important when trying to conceive or avoid pregnancy).
Aside from the BBT Thermometer, the next best thing you should have for charting is a fertility calendar that you can create yourself or get from fertility clinics, free online templates, and free downloadable mobile apps.
Some thermometers come with an app that can be downloaded on your phone or tablet and automatically sync data every time you take your temperature (easy!).
Charting helps you:
- Determine when you’re ovulating monthly, so you can identify the best time to have sex (depending on whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not).
- Detect possible fertility issues. Charts help your doctor understand what’s going on in your body and make the right diagnosis.
- Detect if pregnancy occurred.
What Should Your Basal Body Temperature Be When Ovulating?
Before we get into that, if you’re wondering what is the average basal body temperature, then know that, prior to ovulation, it’s between 97°F to 97.5°F.
Due to the progesterone level spiking up during the ovulation process, the temperature during this phase ranges between 97.6°F to 98.6°F.
Does your BBT drop before your period? Nope, your temperature will remain a few notches higher than average until you get your period.
Two days prior to ovulation though, there would be a sudden drop on your BBT (an average of.2°F) before the spike in temperature.
Experts revealed that this two days prior to ovulation is the perfect time for couples to have sex (if they are trying to conceive) as it gives enough time for the sperm cells to meet the egg upon release.
How Effective is The Basal Body Temperature Method?
BBT charting can be 99% effective as a contraception method provided that:
- You religiously and accurately tracked your BBT on a daily basis.
- You didn’t engage in unprotected sex during your most fertile days (or even during your period!).
It is also as effective for women who are trying to conceive given that:
- You religiously and accurately are tracking your BBT on a daily basis.
- You had sex during the prescribed period (most fertile days).
- You or your partner don’t have an underlying infertility problem.
The success of the BBT method lies on how you keep track of your BBT data, how you plan your actions based on the chart and most importantly, how accurate your thermometer is.
Speaking of which, I have compiled some of the best and trusted basal thermometers available in the market, cause hey! What are friends for, right?
Best Basal Thermometers with Reviews 2019
I’ll divide them into smaller categories so you know what each is best known for. Let’s start with the best overall.
Best Basal Body Temperature Thermometer
Best Basal Thermometer with App
Best Basal Body Thermometer for Ovulation
Best Basal Thermometer for Birth Control
Best Smart Basal Thermometer
Q: How Do You Take Your Basal Body Temperature?
Do you take basal temperature orally or can you take your basal body temperature under your arm?
Basal body temperature can be taken either orally, vaginally or under the armpits (axillary).
The thermometers suggested above are suitable to be used either way. I personally prefer taking the BBT orally as that is much easier to do when I’m still half asleep.
But taking the temperature via axillary is the most effective way of measuring BBT as there are a lot of factors that may affect oral temperature (such as sinus or dental infections).
Q: Can You Take Your Basal Body Temperature with a Regular Thermometer?
No. Regular thermometers are not as accurate and heat sensitive as basal body thermometers. As a result, your chart might not be able to accurately catch a dip or a rise in temperature making your fertility calculation incorrect.
Q: Can You Use a Basal Thermometer as a Regular Thermometer?
Q: Can Basal Body Temperature Indicate Pregnancy?
Yes, but this is still questionable as experiencing “implantation dip” (or a sudden drop in temperature) a day after ovulation can easily be confused with just an ordinary mid-cycle dip that does not indicate pregnancy.
If you came here to find out what is your basal body temperature in early pregnancy, then know that further studies are needed to confirm if an “implantation dip” can be considered as an early sign of pregnancy.
Pregnant women experience an average of .4°F increase in their temperature. Therefore, if you notice that your temperature is slightly higher than normal on non-ovulating days, it is likely that you are pregnant!
Putting It All Together
BBT charting is a great way to be in control of your own body and make an informed decision as to when you need to have sex or not, depending on what your goal is.
Choosing the best basal thermometer plays a very important role in making this method successful together with your dedication and patience.
Which of these products are you currently using or have used in the past? Tell me about your experience in natural family planning.
Sharing is caring, girls! I wish you all family planning success!