What is basal body temperature?
Basal body temperature is the lowest possible temperature of a human body when it is totally at rest.
Normal basal body temperature
The normal value of a person’s basal body temperature is between 97 and 97.5 degree Celsius. Basal body temperature is achieved just before ovulation and stays for around 24 hours. After 24 hours, the body temperature starts to rise up again.
Physiology of Basal body temperature
Basal body temperature and its changes have basically the hormonal changes underlying a fertile female. Just before ovulation, the estrogen levels of a female become higher and they lower the temperature indicating now is the time when a female ovulates and can conceive if she wants to.
Just after the ovulation and after about 24 to 48 hours progesterone comes over and its higher levels increase the basal body temperature. This stays for almost 72 hours. If fertilization does not occur, the body temperature lowers and indicates the start of the menstruation phase of the menstrual cycle of a fertile woman.
Implementation of knowledge of basal body temperature
Knowing the physiology of basal body temperature, one can understand its clinical implementations in a woman’s life. We can enlist them in the following lines.
As a birth control method
If a couple is trying to avoid pregnancy, they can use the knowledge of basal body temperature for contraception. A female keeps a record of her basal body temperature every morning and when it is 97. She knows it is the time for ovulation. Avoiding unprotected intercourse during ovulation for about 48 to 72 hours means you are safe now and won’t get pregnant.
The same information can be used for a couple that is trying to conceive, and all other laboratory tests are normal otherwise. When the basal body temperature falls, now is the time to try to conceive and one must know this is the only time of the month when they can try their luck.
Knowledge of basal body temperature can also be used as a diagnostic aid for a couple of hormonal changes. Infertility is a growing issue in today’s world and the basal body temperature can be used to know the time of ovulation or if any ovulation is taking place or not.
It can also be used as a way of calculating the exact age of the fetus and the expected date of delivery. The last menstrual period date only can give you an estimate with an error of two weeks. But this method is more accurate.
Basal body temperature chart
A basal body temperature chart is filled, and a graph is made every day every morning. It is more of a drill for some ladies, but one has to do it keeping track of her menstrual cycle as well. Every morning she gets up and the first thing in the morning she has to do is check her body temperature. The day when her body temperature is lowest as compared to all previous days is when she is ovulating.