Basal Thermometers for Fertility

Pregnancy | | Natasha Weiss
5 min read

Gadgets and gizmos aplenty! There is a rapidly growing market in reproductive health for tech tools, devices, and contraptions that help you optimize your sex life, fertility, and more. Tech tools for reproductive health help give you an extra boost as you get to know your body and navigate how to take care of it. 

One real nifty gadget that’s become pretty popular is basal thermometers. These specialized thermometers help people track and plan for their fertility by tracking their body temperature! Ready to learn all about this innovative tool? Dive in!

What is A Basal Thermometer?

Basal thermometers are used to detect your basal body temperature, which is your body’s temperature at rest. Since ovulation causes a slight increase in body temperature, a basal temperature can detect this and help you know when you’re ovulating or fertile. People use them to help them conceive, prevent pregnancy, and understand their cycle better.

There’s a lot more that goes into using a basal thermometer, but one huge benefit is that, unlike hormonal birth control, basal thermometers have no side effects, besides grogginess from having to set your alarm at the same time every day!

Can I Use a Regular Thermometer?

No, a regular thermometer that’s used to measure whether or not you have a fever doesn’t cut it when it comes to fertility. Basal thermometers are specialized to detect very subtle changes in temperature of up to 1/100th of a degree. You don’t need one that’s that precise though. A basal thermometer that measures to the tenth of a degree will suffice!

How To Use a Basal Thermometer

So how do you use a basal thermometer? One of the most important parts of tracking your basal temperature is that you have to do it at the same time each day. You also need to be fully at rest, so you have to take it right when you wake up before you move from bed. Make sure to keep it next to your bed or even under your pillow! People typically set an alarm to ensure they’re taking their temperature at the same time each day. 

It’s not just a matter of taking your temperature, you also have to track it to detect when you’re ovulating. You can track it manually using fertility charts. There are also plenty of great apps, and many thermometers have their own apps that they sync with.

Many people use basal temperature along with other fertility awareness methods like tracking your cervical height and mucus. Know that it might take a few months of tracking before you can get a gauge on your cycle. If you’re using basal temperature for birth control, it’s important to give yourself a few months to adjust before solely depending on it.

Tracking Fertility

Using a basal thermometer for fertility tracking can help you determine the best days to have sex for conception. This is usually the five days before ovulation and the day that you ovulate.

People who have had difficulty conceiving may also turn to other methods along with the basal thermometer like an electronic fertility monitor that tracks hormone levels in your urine. Basal thermometers may even be able to help tell you if you do get pregnant. You may be pregnant if you find your basal temperature rising for eighteen or more days after ovulation.

Basal Thermometers and Birth Control

Although it’s certainly not foolproof, many people do use basal thermometers to help prevent pregnancy. This is a fertility awareness-based method and is usually used alongside cervical tracking.

You’re most fertile up to five days before ovulation and on the day of ovulation so be sure to avoid penetration these days or use condoms. Sperm can remain alive for up five days in the female reproductive tract, which means you may get pregnant if you have unprotected sex before you’re in your ovulation window.

In the United States, there is only one basal thermometer that is FDA-approved to be used as birth control – Natural Cycles. That doesn’t mean that other ones can’t be used, but that they haven’t been through the same rigorous testing for getting approval through the government. They may, however, be approved for other things like fertility tracking for conception.

Finding The Right Thermometer 

Ready to get your own basal thermometer? Some fancy thermometers run a few hundred dollars. You can get a good quality one for a very affordable price. The more expensive ones tend to come with their own easy-to-use app to help streamline the process of tracking your cycle.

You can find free fertility charts and calendars online if you want to do it yourself using a less expensive thermometer. Look for one with memory recall so that you don’t have to track first thing in the morning, you can just hit the snooze button instead! If you’re buying a cheaper one, just be sure to read the reviews beforehand. 

Basal Thermometers: Things to Keep in Mind

Keep in mind that basal thermometers don’t protect you against sexually transmitted infections, so be sure to discuss testing and STI status with any new sexual partners. It also doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get pregnant if you want to, or that you won’t get pregnant if you’re trying to avoid it.

Other things can influence your basal temperature that may throw off your tracking like being sick, alcohol, having an irregular sleep schedule, traveling in different time zones, and certain disorders and medications. Basal thermometers may not be a reliable method for you if you don’t have a regular cycle because of conditions like PCOS or if you’re perimenopause.  

Basal thermometers are an awesome tool whether you’re hoping to use them for conception, birth control, or just to get to know your body better. They’re great used in tandem with other tools like cycle journaling and planning your workouts and schedule around your menstrual cycle. 

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