The temperature method helps you predict when you’re going to ovulate by tracking the changes in your body temperature during your menstrual cycle.
Your body temperature naturally changes a tiny bit throughout your menstrual cycle. It’s lower in the first part of your cycle, and then rises when you ovulate.
Initially, you can ask your provider or nurse to help you read your chart Until you are able to read and understand it yourself. Wait until you’ve charted at least 3 months before relying on this method for birth control.
Quick Facts: (from planned parenthood)
- Take your temperature before you talk, eat, drink, have sex, check your phone; before you do ANYTHING. Keep the thermometer in place for about five minutes.
- Rectal thermometers are usually more accurate and reliable. You can buy a basal thermometer online or at most drugstores for about $10.
- After you take your temperature, write it down on your chart. As you keep tracking your temperature, you’ll start to see a pattern. The changes in your temperature may happen quickly or slowly, and the pattern may be different from cycle to cycle.
- Your temperature can change when you’re upset or don’t get enough sleep.
- Smoking, drinking alcohol, jet lag, being sick or stressed, and using an electric blanket can also mess with your normal temperature. Write stuff like this down on your chart to help you figure out when these changes in your temperature aren’t part of your natural menstrual cycle.
- Safe days begin after the increase in your temperature lasts for at least 3 days, and end when your temperature drops just before your next period begins. During your safe days, you can have unprotected vaginal sex. On your unsafe (fertile) days, avoid sex or use another method of birth control.
- The temperature method is more effective when you combine it with the cervical mucus method