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Measuring your temperature

During the course of the female cycle, body temperature follows a distinct pattern. At the beginning of the menstrual cycle, it tends to be somewhat lower. Within a maximum of 48 hours after ovulation, it increases by a few tenths of a degree. The fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s cycle can be identified by recording and interpreting these temperature results.1 To ensure the reliability of the results, this method should not be practised by women with irregular menstrual cycles or irregular night rest (shift work, travel).

The basal temperature (body temperature upon waking) must be measured on a daily basis and the results documented in a structured manner. Measuring should take place around the same time every day — in the morning prior to getting up — so that the results can be compared to one another.1
It is important to gather data over several months to establish the personal characteristics of each woman’s own menstrual cycle. The selection of the measuring instrument is also important. It should be highly sensitive in order to register even the most minute fluctuations.

The Bottom Line

On account of the consistency required in temperature readings, this method necessitates a great deal of diligence and discipline in its application. Furthermore, the principles of this method must be clearly understood in order to interpret the results correctly.

Take a look at how the pearl index of this method compares to that of other approaches.

The cycle computers by cyclotest have proven themselves as helpful support since they are based on precisely the method presented here. Because the computers are equipped with a measuring sensor and pre-programmed algorithms, temperature information is collected and evaluated easily and conveniently. Furthermore, an additional symptom relating to ovulation may also be collected and entered into the calculation.

1 Malteser Arbeitsgruppe NFP (Hrsg.): Natürlich und sicher. Das Praxisbuch. 18. Auflage. Stuttgart 2011.