WellSpan Home

Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Charting

Topic Overview

The basal body temperature (BBT) is a person's at-rest temperature. Women can track their BBT to find out when they are ovulating. With this time line, a woman can learn when she is most and least likely to become pregnant.

When are you most likely to become pregnant?

About 2 weeks before your period you will ovulate, which means that one of your ovaries has released an egg. You are most likely to get pregnant on the day of ovulation and the 5 days before it.

When are you least likely to become pregnant?

Your egg is fertile for about 12 to 24 hours after you ovulate. Avoiding sex until several days after ovulation may help you prevent pregnancy. Keep in mind that your cycle can change, making it hard to know when you are ovulating. Some women use this information as a form of birth control. But it isn't very reliable for preventing pregnancy.

How can you predict when you will ovulate?

Your body temperature dips a bit just before your ovary releases an egg. Then, 24 hours after the egg's release, your temperature rises and stays up for several days. Before ovulation, a woman's BBT averages between97°F (36.1°C) and97.5°F (36.4°C). After ovulation, it rises to97.6°F (36.4°C) to98.6°F (37°C).

You can track your cycle by taking your BBT every morning. Take your temperature at the same time every day before getting out of bed. Next, record the results on a chart. If you have a somewhat regular cycle, the chart will help you predict when you will ovulate next.

What tools do you need to take your basal body temperature?

The change in your body temperature is very slight, so you need to use a special thermometer. You can use a regular digital thermometer or buy a basal thermometer. A basal thermometer shows you the temperature in tenths of a degree. This allows you to note tiny changes in body heat. This thermometer is faster and more exact than a regular thermometer.

Use a simple Fahrenheit temperature chart(What is a PDF document?) or Celsius temperature chart(What is a PDF document?) to track your temperature for several months.

Where can you get a basal thermometer?

You can find a basal thermometer or digital thermometer in a pharmacy or in the pharmacy section in many grocery stores. You can also find kits that include materials for measuring and charting BBT. These items are low in cost.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerFemi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC, FACOG - Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Endocrinology

Current as ofNovember 21, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×