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Basal Body Temperature – BBT

Basal body temperature is the lowest temperature attained by the body during rest (usually during sleep). It is generally measured immediately after awakening and before any physical activity has been undertaken, although the temperature measured at that time is somewhat higher than the true basal body temperature. In women, ovulation causes an increase of one-half to one degree Fahrenheit (one-quarter to one-half degree Celsius) in basal body temperature (BBT); monitoring of BBTs is one way of estimating the day of ovulation.
Worldwide, the basal body temperature method is the oldest and most widely practiced of the fertility awareness methods.

This method is useful to confirm that a woman is ovulating each month and by recording her temperature on a chart over several months she can begin to predict when the most fertile days of her cycle are going to be, which is of course necessary for couples either trying to obtain, or trying to avoid, pregnancy.
If a woman has regular cycles she could use this method to help detect the period of the month that she usually ovulates. In this way she could guess the best time to have intercourse to have the greatest chance of becoming pregnant. However, the BBT method is simply not very easy to use or convenient. It relies on detecting small differences in BBT and this can be unreliable in practice because it is hard for a woman to comply with the testing regime. In addition the results can be influenced by numerous factors including eating spicy food, drinking alcohol, lack of sleep or having a cold. All these things make this method difficult to use and in practice even experienced doctors can find the charts difficult to interpret.

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