DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
The basal body temperature method is a type of natural family planning, also called fertility awareness-based methods.
Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you're fully at rest. Ovulation may cause a slight increase in basal body temperature. You'll be most fertile during the two to three days before your temperature rises. By tracking your basal body temperature each day, you may be able to predict when you'll ovulate. In turn, this may help you determine when you're most likely to conceive.
If you're hoping to get pregnant, you can use the basal body temperature method to determine the best days to have sex. Similarly, if you're hoping to avoid pregnancy, you can use the basal body temperature method to determine which days to avoid unprotected sex.
- Jennings V. Fertility awareness-based methods of pregnancy prevention. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 30, 2011.
- Pallone SR, et al. Fertility awareness-based methods: Another option for family planning. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. 2009;22:147.
- Fertility awareness methods (FAM). In: Zieman M, et al. A Pocket Guide to Managing Contraception. Tiger, Ga.: Bridging the Gap Communications; 2010:52
- Barron ML, et al. Basal body temperature assessment: Is it useful to couples seeking pregnancy? The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing. 2005;30:290.
- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media Inc.; 2007:346.