Part of the menstrual cycle involves a change in body temperature. A woman’s body temperature rises on the day of her ovulation (often around day fourteen on a twenty-eight day cycle), and will stay higher until menstruation.
The change in temperature is less than a degree, and so it takes careful monitoring to maintain these records.
A woman’s normal body temperature is between 96-98 degrees Fahrenheit. Normal body temperature will rise between 1/8 and ½ a degree at ovulation.
To effectively monitor your ovulation using your temperature, you have to take your basal body temperature (or BBT), which is your temperature when your body is at rest. This means that you take your temperature each morning before you get out of bed.
Because the change in temperature in a woman’s body is so slight, it is best to get a specialized thermometer that only registers from 95-100 degrees or so. This will have larger numbers and make it easier to see the slight variance.
It is most accurate to take the temperature rectally. You can also do it orally, but whichever method you choose, you have to be consistent.
You have to record your temperature each morning to within one tenth of a degree (for instance: 97.2 or 97.6). Record this.
You will need to chart your body temperature for at least three months before you can begin to rely on this method of birth control. For creating your chart, you need to be off of hormonal birth control pills for one month before you begin your three month chart. Use alternative methods during this period, such as barriers. You will also need to see a professional to help you read your BBT chart. You can get a chart to record your BBT on at a women’s health clinic or by asking your doctor.
Continue reading our information on Challenges of the Temperature Method to learn to understand your cycle.
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