Basal Body Temperature Method of Family Planning

The changes in basal body temperature have been linked with determining the time of ovulation in women. Charting the changes in the basal body temperature can be effective in knowing when a woman can find herself at her most fertile. And in the same case, charting the changes in basal body temperature can also be used as a means of natural family planning.

The basal body temperature is the body temperature that can be measured immediately after waking up, before any physical activity has been undertaken. In women, monitoring the basal body temperature is one way of estimating the day of ovulation. Women may have the tendency to have lower temperatures before ovulation and experience an increase right afterwards. Being able to chart this pattern is usually used to help women be more aware of their fertility periods.

And just as charting the basal body temperature can help estimate a woman’s fertile period, it can also be used to determine when she is past her fertility period as a natural contraceptive method. Also known as symptom-thermal method, this type of birth control method makes use of charting the basal body temperature throughout the woman’s menstrual cycle.

Since a woman experiences a slight rise in her body temperature during the time of ovulation, being able to find that sustained rise in temperature may help determine the time wherein the woman is at her most fertile during her monthly cycle.

In order for this natural birth control method to work, a woman must be able to take her temperature daily first thing every morning before she gets out of bed. It is important that the temperature be taken before any activity has been undertaken. The temperature reading should then be recorded on a chart so that the differences can be followed from day to day.

Usually, the temperature readings may be between 97.2 and 97.4 degrees Fahrenheit under normal conditions and may either go up or down from day to day. But at the time of ovulation the basal body temperature may increase somewhere to a half and even to a full degree. The BBT will remain at its elevated levels due to the increased production of progesterone in the body during ovulation.

The sustained elevated temperature readings can last for up to three days may indicate that ovulation has taken place. After ovulation has taken place, the woman can assume that having sex during the rest of the remaining menstrual cycle will not result in pregnancy.

For couples who may not be able to wait a long time in order to have sex without conception, it can also be possible to examine the patterns of temperature changes from previous menstrual cycles and determine the likely time that a woman ovulates. The safest time to have sex without conception is said to be up to one week before a woman’s earliest recorded day of sustained temperature rise.

In order to record the changes in basal body temperature from day to day, one might need a special type of thermometer that is able to determine minute changes or differences of basal body temperature readings. One can be purchased at a local pharmacy and may be available in either the glass thermometer style or as a digital model.

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