For women who are trying to get pregnant, it is important to know how to take basal body temperature or BBT. Today, there are several methods to keep track of basal body temperature. Some prefer to chart their basal body temperature; others use ovulation predictor kits; and some others prefer to monitor their cervical mucus. All these are ways that they can stay informed about their next ovulation which assists them in timing their sexual intercourse accordingly. Let's get to know more about basal body temperature now.

What Is Basal Body Temperature?

Your lowest body temperature in a period of 24 hours is what is known as the basal body temperature. A woman’s body temperature varies from time to time as it ranges from 97.2 to 97.7 degrees Fahrenheit just before ovulation but may rise by 1 degree or more the day after ovulation. For you to get to know your BBT, you need to have a basal thermometer and a chart to record your temperature every morning before you leave your bed. 

Taking BBT not only helps predict the time of your next ovulation and set a date for an effective sexual intercourse if you are trying to get a baby, but also helps a health expert diagnose an underlying issue preventing you from getting pregnant. For an effective prediction, it is advised that the basal temperature be taken almost the same time before getting out of bed and repetitively for a few months until one gets pregnant.

How to Take Basal Body Temperature


Use a Digital BBT Thermometer

Head to a local supermarket or drug store and get a digital BBT thermometer that is preferred by many people. These thermometers give an accurate and quick reading and may store the temperature automatically although it’s best that you record it somewhere else. Once you have taken the temperature, you will hear a beeping sound and record the number on your physical chart. There are also non-digital BBT thermometers available.


Keep Your Thermometer Close

Place the thermometer besides you before sleeping, because you are required to take your basal temperature immediately after opening your eyes and before moving out of your bed. Health experts advise that you should not move, talk, stretch or engage in any other activity before recording your temperature as this may disrupt the actual basal temperature. Shake the glass BBT thermometer before sleeping, so you can directly use it in the morning for an accurate reading. 


Do It at a Fixed Time

The best way to ensure you get accurate basal body temperature is to record your temperature every morning at a specific time before getting out of bed. Since one can oversleep or just forget to take the temperature, you can set an alarm to alert you. Sleep for a minimum of three hours before taking your temperature and if you do not take the reading at a specific time, ensure that it is within an average of an hour.


Take the Temperature

This is the core step in learning how to take basal body temperature. You can opt to put the thermometer in your month for a few seconds, but do keep it in the same location and depth every morning to get an accurate reading. You can also take basal body temperature rectally or vaginally. But do make sure you use the same method for one whole cycle for getting accurate basal body temperature.


Records Immediately and Daily

After you have the reading from your thermometer, immediately put it on a physical chart or on an app that you can refer to. The chart should have horizontal section that has the temperature range and a vertical one with the records of the dates. Without a chart containing accurate recordings, it will be a challenge for you to predict your ovulation date which will frustrate you further if you really want to get pregnant. To make things easier, there are many samples on the internet. You can just download and use them to your advantages.


Check for Patterns

Having patterns on your chart is very significant and this can help in getting accurate information about your fertility. The best time to check for patterns of basal body temperature is after at least 2 cycles. Patterns could include a temperature rise or fall around certain days during your cycle. The temperature should be an average of 97 degrees. Now you know how to take basal body temperature in the perfect way. 


Know When You Are Most Fertile

For those that want to get pregnant, they should have unprotected sexual intercourse about 2 days before ovulation or before the rise of the basal body temperature. This is in fact the period that most women tend to get pregnant. Once you have had your ovulation and the temperature won’t go down for close to 3 weeks, you should have a pregnancy test done as you could be pregnant. Knowing when you are most fertile is a great advantage if you want to have a baby.



Since basal body temperature is not an approved birth control method, other approved birth control methods should be used in order to avoid pregnancy or get pregnant effectively. Stay alert if you are stressed, ill or if you have taken alcohol or you have any other disorders, as all of these could influence the outcome of your basal body temperature.


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