Did you know that you can prevent or seriously decrease your chance of pregnancy just by taking your temperature every morning? It might sound crazy, but it’s true! The basal body temperature method of birth control will tell you which days are safe for intercourse and which are likely to result in a pregnancy with no more work than sticking a thermometer under your tongue.
How Does It Work?
Just as the name suggests, the basal body temperature method of birth control works by tracking your basal (or resting) body temperature and establishing patterns. You can track your temperature using a professional fertility monitor, fertility phone app, or even an old-fashioned pen and calendar (though this method requires more work and is often less reliable).
You must be sure to take your temperature every morning before you get out of bed to ensure that you’re getting a consistent reading. Once you get up and start moving around your temperature will rise above the resting level and could throw off the pattern.
Most women experience a slight temperature increase of about .5 degrees Fahrenheit (or .3 degrees Celsius) when they ovulate, so what you’re looking for is a small but noticeable increase in temperature for three days or more.
Your safe days for unprotected sex begin three to four days after your basal body temperature rises and end when you start your next menstrual cycle (when you get your period). This is because you’re actually at your most fertile a couple of days before your temperature increases.
Once you’ve been using the basal body temperature method of birth control for multiple months you will be able to predict when ovulation will occur with even greater accuracy, which makes it easier to plan out your safe days for intercourse.
The basal body temperature method of birth control is all natural and eco-friendly. Plus as an added bonus it helps you become more aware of your body’s natural rhythm and cycles.
What does temperature have to do with fertility?
It seems like a weird connection doesn’t it? Scientists have known for a long time that female body temperature increases during ovulation, but it took them a little longer to understand why that is.
When an egg is released from one of your ovaries (also known as ovulation) your body and the ovary itself release a slew of hormones to keep all the body systems working in sync. One of these hormones is progesterone, which helps gets your reproductive system ready for a potential pregnancy. After 24 to 48 hours of raised progesterone levels, your body temperature also rises as a side effect.
It’s very important to remember that it takes a day or two for your body temperature to respond to the increase in progesterone, so you’re highly fertile and likely to get pregnant even before the temperature increase alerts you to ovulation.
Since progesterone plays such an important role in pregnancy, the basal body temperature method of birth control can also tip you off if you become pregnant. If one of your eggs is fertilized, progesterone levels will stay high and instead of lowering again your body temperature will also stay slightly higher than normal.
Is the Basal Body Temperature Method Safe?
Nearly all methods of contraception come with some risk, but the basal body temperature method of birth control is overall exceptionally low risk. It’s just as safe, if not safer, than condoms or the pill. There are no chemicals or medications involved: The only thing you’re putting in your body is a thermometer under your tongue every morning.
The basal body temperature method is also scientifically validated. It has been found to be highly effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly and consistently.
One slight downside to the basal body temperature method of birth control compared to condoms is that it doesn’t provide any protection against sexually transmitted infections, though neither does the pill. This method may also be less effective if you frequently experience events that might impact your body temperature, such as fevers or taking certain medications.
What is a Fertility Monitor and How is it Used?
Many women find the basal temperature method to be far easier to keep track of when using a fertility monitor. What’s a fertility monitor? It’s a small technological device that takes your temperature every morning and uses the information to chart your cycle and let you know when you’re fertile.
If you want to try this type of contraception we highly recommend a fertility monitor since accuracy and consistency are so important for this method to be effective at preventing pregnancy. Fertility monitors remove all the note-taking and guesswork, so you don’t have to spend as much time planning your safe days.
There are lots of fertility monitors on the market, but it’s vital to choose a quality product for good results. If you choose an inaccurate, low-quality monitor it could increase your risk of pregnancy.
The [email protected] Pre-Mom Fertility Tracker has some of the best reviews of any temperature-based fertility tracker available online. A small thermometer sends all your daily temperature readings to an app, which then alerts you to high-fertility days with incredible accuracy. You can easily view all your fertility information, temperature charts, and predicted ovulation days with the touch of a button!
Overall the basal temperature method is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most effective forms of natural birth control. We hope this post has helped you to learn more about this excellent method and decide whether it’s right for you!
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- Guide to the Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Method