Looking for an inexpensive way to track ovulation? Have you heard of basal thermometers, but are not sure they are reliable?
Tracking your basal body temperature is one of the least expensive, but most reliable, ways to monitor your cycle. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or trying to avoid it, controlling your body temperature is an important part of natural family planning.
So if all it takes is keeping track of your temperature, why can’t you just use a conventional thermometer? Today, we’ll answer that question, as well as how to do it, what to look for, and if a basal thermometer is for you.
Best Basal Thermometers Of 2020
What Is Basal Body Temperature (Bbt)?
Basal body temperature (BBT) indicates the lowest body temperature in 24 hours (1). Now, you can’t measure anytime when you feel coldest. To get a correct reading, it has to be the first thing you do when you wake up.
As soon as you get up and go to the bathroom, drink a glass of water, or perhaps enjoy a hug with your partner, your temperature rises. If you did just one of these activities before measuring your temperature, it would be wrong.
Before ovulation, your basal body temperature will be within the range of 97.0 to 97.7 F. After ovulation, your BBT increases by a few tenths of a degree and will remain high until your next period. In other words, your cycle is divided into two parts: the first half is the coldest follicular phase, and the second half is the warmer luteal phase.
Separating the two is the change in temperature that marks that ovulation has occurred.
Before you ovulate, the high levels of estrogen in your body keep your BBT low. After ovulation, the body quickly begins to produce more progesterone. By looking for a sustained rise in temperature for at least three days, we can confirm that you have ovulated and that the body has moved into the second phase of the cycle.
What Is A Basal Thermometer?
A basal thermometer looks and works very similar to a conventional thermometer. However, they are much more sensitive and can therefore measure smaller changes in your BBT (2).
For example, a conventional thermometer can give you a reading of 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The basal thermometer, on the other hand, would read 98.235 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you more decimal places and therefore a more accurate reading.
Can I Use My Conventional Thermometer?
Some argue that to get a correct reading on your CBT, all you need is a 10th grade reading. This is, of course, what you get with almost any thermometer.
This could be enough for you if you are not necessarily trying to conceive right away, or if you are just curious.
With that said, if you want the best results, experts agree that you will need a thermometer that is more sensitive. The temperature changes are small and you may not see them with a less sensitive thermometer. If you have an irregular, short or long period, it can be very difficult to predict your ovulation and an accurate thermometer is a must (3).
Another reason to choose a basal thermometer is that many can store their readings. This way, you can wake up, take your temperature, and then go back to sleep. Then later in the day you can write it down or sync it with an app.
Why Monitor Your Basal Temperature?
Ovulation occurs when the ovary releases an egg. The rupture site that remains in the ovary is called the corpus luteum and it begins to produce progesterone, responsible for the increase in temperature.
Once a sustained increase in body temperature is observed, it is very likely that the egg has been released and has already died. She then goes into the luteal phase and cannot get pregnant for the rest of the cycle. Ultimately, conception will occur when intercourse takes place in the few days before ovulation .
If you are using this method for contraception, be aware that semen can live inside a woman’s body for up to five days (4). Combine this with the fact that the released egg can live 24 to 48 hours, and you have a fertile window of about 6 days before and including the day of ovulation on which you could become pregnant.
If you are using this method to conceive, thermometers can confirm that ovulation has already occurred in a cycle, but only after the fact. Once a rise in temperature is observed, the chances of conception are very low, as there is no egg.
Whether trying to conceive or trying to avoid, it’s best to use basal body temperature thermometers with other symptoms, such as cervical fluid, vaginal discharge, or cervical position (5).
How To Choose The Best Basal Thermometer
Basal thermometers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are high-tech and high-priced, while others seem very ordinary. Here are a few different types:
When buying a basal thermometer, you need to consider your needs, accuracy, and your budget. These can be more expensive than regular thermometers, but if you are trying to conceive, you will need that precision.
When shopping, it seems that many women today tend to prefer digital models. However, if you are thinking of buying a digital one, there are a few things to consider beforehand:
Best Basal Thermometer Reviews Of 2020
Basal thermometers are, in many ways, essential to keep on the nightstand. They will work as a tool to help you conceive, as well as all-natural contraception. Now that we know what to look for, let’s take a look at the best basal thermometers available.
1. Iproven Basal Digital Thermometer
High-tech equipment can often be overwhelming, but simple digital basal thermometers are a great alternative to existing smart technology. These are some of the most popular options today, and for good reason. They are super easy to use and will generally provide you with fast and accurate results.
For the best digital basal thermometer, we’ve chosen this cute little thermometer from iProven.
As I mentioned earlier, for best results, you need a sensitive thermometer. This is ultra sensitive, giving you an accurate reading down to one hundredth of a degree.
It’s not the fastest, but definitely not the slowest, providing results in about a minute.
When it finishes its reading, it will beep. But iProven claims it’s soft and shouldn’t wake up those who sleep together. This is a problem often found with digital thermometers – the beep is too loud.
One thing that struck me was what iProven includes in the package. In addition to the thermometer, you receive a step-by-step guide, as well as a temperature chart. I always prefer to have a graphic to write on rather than an app, it’s easier for me.
The temperature chart will give you an overview of your cycle. This will help you identify your fertile window and help your doctor detect any problems.
With that said, if you don’t like pink then this can be a bit overwhelming. iProven designed everything in this pack to be cute and girly. PROS:
2. Bongmi Smart Basal Ovulation Thermometer
This thermometer has a unique and nifty lipstick design, allowing you to take your temperature without letting your family or co-workers know that you are trying to get pregnant.
The temperature is controlled via BlueTooth on your smartphone using the downloadable app (both iOS and Android). The app has impressive charting features like BBT curve chart, automatic pregnancy rate calculation (based on the previous 7 days), and a daily log of all your key measurements. Data is also stored in the cloud, reducing the chance that all your hard work will be lost or destroyed.
Measurements are fast and accurate and can be done in an average time of 90 seconds. To keep things simple and reduce the possibility of human error, there are no buttons and no need to control the device. Once the cover is removed, recording will automatically start and stop once the data transmission is complete.
3. Ifertracker Smart Fertility Tracker
The best time to measure basal body temperature is during sleep, when your body is resting. Therefore, portable basal thermometers are perfect if you tend to forget, or like me, you can be a bit lazy. These generally record your basal body temperature while you sleep and inform you of the results when you wake up. If you go for one that can be worn, be sure to choose one that is reliable and comfortable to wear.
Using a basal thermometer may seem strange. But with this high-tech, sleek-looking model from iFertracker, you won’t notice.
Before going to bed, place the sensor under your armpit. From here, it will record your temperature throughout the night.
One feature that I am sure you will love is its comprehensive readings. During the night it collects 20,000 temperature data points that you can view through the app in the morning.
After pairing the sensor with the app, it will automatically send all the data to your phone. However, as we sometimes tend to forget things, the sensor has a flash memory of 240 hours.
An additional feature that we cannot skip is the sleep analyzer. The sensor will not only record your temperature, but also the way you sleep. How cool is that?
That said, the sensor’s battery life needs some improvement. If you use it every day, as you are supposed to, it will indicate “”low battery”” within a month.
The app requires some work as well, although it has already made great improvements.
4. Easy @ Home Smart Basal Thermometer
Who doesn’t love a little smart tech to help make life a little smoother? Technology has taken us far; In the past, you had to go to the doctor’s office to keep track of your ovulation. Today, all that is needed is a pocket device. But while there are countless smart basal thermometers, not all of them are worth it.
This smart basal thermometer from Easy @ Home pays off. The thermometer has a small backlit screen that shows the results, which are then synced with an app on the phone.
The basal thermometer has high precision – it will measure up to the hundredth degree. Also, it will allow you to choose between Fahrenheit and Celsius.
This smart thermometer comes with the Premom app, compatible with iOS and Android. When you create your account, it will give you unlimited cloud storage for all your recordings.
As you take your temperature in the morning, the results will sync perfectly with your app. Still, remember to connect the thermometer to your phone before taking your temperature. Otherwise, the results will not be synced automatically.
Once inside the Premom app, your data will be analyzed to give you an accurate fertility window. After a month or so of getting used to your regular cycles, the app will predict you and even give you a warning before you ovulate.
However, the battery seems to drain quickly. For daily use, it is not very convenient.
5. Geratherm Mercury-Free Basal Thermometer
Some people argue that to get the most accurate reading, you will need a glass basal thermometer. These measure temperatures with high precision and you won’t have to worry about the batteries running out. However, you will need to be careful not to drop them as they tend to break easily.
While glass thermometers are great in many ways, you want one that doesn’t contain mercury. This Geratherm basal thermometer is FDA approved and environmentally friendly.
Geratherm specially made this basal thermometer for women trying to conceive. The calibration strip has a large display for temperature and even has a magnifying glass.
You can use this thermometer wherever you want, either orally or rectally. However, be sure to follow a method! However, the tip is easy to clean and disinfect after use.
In addition to the glass thermometer, Geratherm also provides you with a temperature chart. Here you can easily annotate and keep track of your cycles.
In saying all this, however, glass thermometers have their drawbacks. First of all, they break easily if you drop them. Second, there is no technology involved, which means you will have to write your reading immediately.
But if that doesn’t bother you, it’s a great thermometer to keep on your nightstand.
How To Track Ovulation Using A Basal Thermometer
To successfully track your cycle, the best thing you can do is print an ovulation chart or download an app. Some basal thermometers come with a compatible app to help you.
It is fair to mention that this method requires some time and patience on your part. But by saying this, it’s cheap, easy, and it will give you a good sense of your cycle. It’s also a good idea to bring your notes to your doctor’s appointment, as it can help identify any fertility problems.
Hot Or Not?
Keeping track of your basal body temperature is one of the easiest ways to learn about your cycle. It is essential to take your temperature first thing in the morning, without much movement beforehand. It should also be around the same time every day for the best results.
There are a ton of basal thermometers out there, but you’ve seen our top five here. Our favorite has to be the iProven Digital Basal Thermometer – it’s small, simple, and gets the job done right.
Did you find a basal thermometer for you? Or do you have any advice for other TTC readers? Please leave your comment below, and be sure to share our list