COVID-19 Information: Vaccine | Testing | Self-assessment | Patient & Visitor Safety | Visitor Policy
Emergency Room Wait Times
Home > Living Well > Health Library > Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Charting
The basal body temperature (BBT) is a person's at-rest temperature. Women can track their BBT to find out when they are ovulating. With this time line, a woman can learn when she is most and least likely to become pregnant.
When are you most likely to become pregnant?
About 2 weeks before your period you will ovulate, which means that one of your ovaries has released an egg. You are most likely to get pregnant on the day of ovulation and the 5 days before it.
When are you least likely to become pregnant?
Your egg is fertile for about 12 to 24 hours after you ovulate. Avoiding sex until several days after ovulation may help you prevent pregnancy. Keep in mind that your cycle can change, making it hard to know when you are ovulating. Some women use this information as a form of birth control. But it isn't very reliable for preventing pregnancy.
How can you predict when you will ovulate?
Your body temperature dips a bit just before your ovary releases an egg. Then, 24 hours after the egg's release, your temperature rises and stays up for several days. Before ovulation, a woman's BBT averages between 97°F (36.1°C) and 97.5°F (36.4°C). After ovulation, it rises to 97.6°F (36.4°C) to 98.6°F (37°C).
You can track your cycle by taking your BBT every morning. Take your temperature at the same time every day before getting out of bed. Next, record the results on a chart. If you have a somewhat regular cycle, the chart will help you predict when you will ovulate next.
What tools do you need to take your basal body temperature?
The change in your body temperature is very slight, so you need to use a special thermometer. You can use a regular digital thermometer or buy a basal thermometer. A basal thermometer shows you the temperature in tenths of a degree. This allows you to note tiny changes in body heat. This thermometer is faster and more exact than a regular thermometer.
Use a simple Fahrenheit temperature chart or Celsius temperature chart to track your temperature for several months.
Where can you get a basal thermometer?
You can find a basal thermometer or digital thermometer in a pharmacy or in the pharmacy section in many grocery stores. You can also find kits that include materials for measuring and charting BBT. These items are low in cost.
Current as of:
June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineFemi Olatunbosun MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of: June 16, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Femi Olatunbosun MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this website, and its associated websites, is provided as a benefit to the local community, and the Internet community in general; it does not constitute medical advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this website and its associated sites. As medical advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each patient and healthcare is constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of a competent physician. Furthermore, in providing this service, Adventist HealthCare does not condone or support all of the content covered in this site. As an Adventist health care organization, Adventist HealthCare acts in accordance with the ethical and religious directives for Adventist health care services.
Find an Adventist HealthCare affiliated doctor by calling our FREE physician referral service at 800-642-0101 or by searching our online physician directory.
Set Your Location
Setting your location helps us to show you nearby providers and locations based on your healthcare needs.