The name may be complicated but, really, it’s all quite simple. To use the Symptom-Thermal Method, or Temperature Method, to get pregnant, you must do two things – take your waking temperature, measure your so-called basal body temperature and your cervical mucus. That’s all there is to natural family planning.
This method has many advantages. In addition to identifying your fertile days, it will also help you to get to know your own body. Cycle irregularities can be detected quickly and the record of your cycle helps your gyanecologist to help you.
The Temperature Method is not only reliable, it is also cheap. It requires a little discipline as you have to measure your temperature at the very same time every morning.
Basal Body Temprature
• Always measure your basal body temperature at the same after you wake up. It is important that you do this as soon as you wake up.
• Always measure at the same time, otherwise there could be significant the temperature differences
• Always measure in the same place – either in the mouth under the tongue (5 minutes), in the butt (at least 2 minutes), or in the vagina (5 minutes). Axial measurements (under the arm) are accurate for this purpose.
• Start a new list on the first day of the cycle
• If you sleep less than four hours, make a note of it on the sheet. Your basal temperature will be different from usual.
• Make a note if you are stressed, ill, have partied the night before or have been drinking alcohol. This can also affect your basal body temperature. Rule of thumb: Ideally, you must take your temperature after at least six to eight hours of sleep.
Which Thermometer To Use?
Standard thermometers are prone to inacurracies. A digital thermometer is recommended. It is also more practical as it does not need to be shaken and will not break if falls. Make sure it records temperature up to two decimal places.
How Is Body Temperature Linked To Fertility
Your fertile period starts about 4-5 days before ovulation, and ends about 24 hours after it. You are most fertile on the day before and the day of ovulation. How does this relate to body temperature? As soon as you begin to ovulate, your body releases a hormone called progesterone, which causes your temperature to rise. (An increase is signified by the measured values are higher by 0.2 degrees than the previous six values) Since ovulation lasts for a few days, your temperature will correspondingly remain elevated during that time. If you get pregnant, your basal body temperature will remain elevated during your pregnancy.
Keeping a record of your basal body temperature can help you predict ovulation and it will thus point to your fertile period. This period is very brief – around five days every month. Since sperm can survive in your body for up to five days, you can get pregnant if you have had sex five days before ovulation begins. After ovulation, the egg can survive for around 12 to 18 hours and is capable of being fertilised during that time.