RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
Using the basal body temperature method to promote fertility doesn't pose any risks.
Likewise, using the basal body temperature method for birth control doesn't pose any direct risks, but it doesn't offer protection from sexually transmitted infections. In addition, it's one of the least effective natural family planning methods. An estimated 25 out of 100 women who use basal body temperature plus another fertility awareness-based method, such as the cervical mucus method, will get pregnant in the first year of typical use.
Using the basal body temperature method for birth control requires motivation and diligence. If you don't want to conceive, you and your partner must avoid having sex or use a barrier method of contraception during your fertile days each month.
Keep in mind that your basal body temperature can be influenced by many factors, including:
- Shift work
- Interrupted sleep cycles or oversleeping
- Drinking alcohol
- Travel and time zone differences
- Gynecologic disorders
- Certain medications
Some women also ovulate without a clear rise in basal body temperature.
- 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.