Everything You Want to Know About Basal Thermometers

 This is not a Basal Thermometer. Please do not use a food thermometer to check your Basal Body Temperature.  Photo by  Manki Kim  on  Unsplash
This is not a Basal Thermometer. Please do not use a food thermometer to check your Basal Body Temperature.  Photo by Manki Kim  on Unsplash

What is a Basal Thermometer?

A Basal Thermometer is an extremely sensitive thermometer. It’s specially designed to be large-scale and easy to read. These thermometers only register temperatures between 96 and 100 degrees. These super sensitive thermometers are capable of tracking even the smallest fluctuations in body temperature. They are primarily used as a tool to track ovulation by women trying to conceive.

Unlike a regular digital thermometer, basal thermometers register to the hundredth of a degree. A normal digital only registers to the tenth of a degree. For example, on the same day, a regular digital thermometer may read 97.2, while a basal thermometer could read 97.29. These subtle differences can be very important when charting ovulation.

Where can I buy a Basal Thermometer?

Like most anything these days, basal thermometers are available for purchase online. You can purchase them on Amazon, or any big box store website, like Wal-Mart or Target.

Sometimes, you may be able to find them in person at Target or Wal-Mart, but not always. If you live in an area with a lot of young families, these retailers are more likely to stock such items. However, if you’re in the middle of a nowhere or a big college town, you’re less likely to find basal thermometers available for purchase in a big box store.

Actually, you’re most likely to find basal thermometers in person at your local drugstore–think CVS or Walgreens. The thermometers range in price from $8 for a basic model to $80 for a medical grade model that automatically charts ovulation for you.

What is a Basal Body Temperature?

A basal body temperature is the temperature of an average person upon waking up. You take your basal body temperature (BBT)  when you first wake up in the morning (before you even get out of bed). Tracking and recording your BBT is a fast, affordable, and easy way to determine when you may be ovulating. It’s a great fertility planning tool for those trying to conceive.

In order to have the most effective data, you will need to record your BBT around the same time each day. So, if some days you wake up at 5 am and other days at 8 am, this tracking method wouldn’t work for you. If you really want to have an accurate BBT chart, you will need to set an alarm to wake up at about the same time every day. So, if it’s necessary for you to get up at 5 am on some days, you probably have to get up at 5 am every day for accurate charting.

While you’re consistently waking up at the same time each day, you’ll also need your basal thermometer and journal within arm’s reach. Yes, there are also apps for this and as mentioned above, some pricey thermometers that will do the tracking for you. Since the most effective and accurate method of BBT tracking requires you to take your temperature before even getting out of bed, having the necessary items (whether you’re using your phone, a high-tech thermometer, an old-fashioned journal, or some combination of the above) on a nightstand right next to you will set you up for success.

Why should I use a Basal Thermometer?

Most women who choose to use a basal thermometer do so in order to track their ovulation. These women are likely trying to conceive or possible dealing with unexplained infertility. Tracking their ovulation allows these women to time intercourse so that it’s most likely to result in a pregnancy. It’s a wonderfully effective family planning tool that is inexpensive and easily done by women in the comfort of their own homes, without any assistance.

What temperature will I be during ovulation?

Using a specialized basal body thermometer, most women will register 97 to 99 degrees during ovulation. Prior to ovulation, the majority of women will register between 96 to 98 degrees. When you notice that slight uptick in your BBT, you’re likely to be ovulating. It’s the perfect time to try to conceive.

It’s important to note each woman is different. Some women may register 98 degrees most of the time, then 98.9 during ovulation. Others may see a more dramatic difference, like having a regular BBT of 96 then seeing 99 during ovulation. This is why charting is so important–you are charting your individual circumstance to determine when you’re ovulating. It’s not as if seeing a 98 on the thermometer means you’re ovulating–you need to know if that 98 is high or average for you. It’s a very specific to each individual. The only way to determine your temperature during ovulation is to track it consistently and look for that slight increase in temperature over time. After a few months of charting, your ovulation pattern should become clear.

Can I use a Digital Thermometer instead of a Basal Thermometer?

No. Regular digital thermometers only go to the tenth of a degree. Basal thermometers go to the hundredth of a degree which is what you need to track the subtle temperature change during ovulation. Further, regular digital thermometers do not give you an accurate enough read for charting purposes. The good news is you can get a basal thermometer for under $10, so there is really no reason not to use one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *