Typically used for pregnancy tests, a basal thermometer is usually a more accurate device than a regular thermometer. It was designed specifically to measure the ovulation period of a woman, which is characterized by the rise in temperature of their bodies. In this article, we will find out more about basal thermometers and how they can help you as an expectant mom or if you want to know whether you’re bound to be pregnant or not.
What is the difference between a basal thermometer and a normal one?
Here are the known differences between the two types of thermometers:
1. What are they mainly used for?
Normal thermometer: the regular thermometer is used for general check-ups, as well as knowing if a person has a fever, flu, or a significant change in their body heat or temperature. They have an average amount of accuracy and they tend to be used more often.
Basal thermometer: a basal thermometer is less likely to be found on a regular medicine cabinet since it’s not very much used as compared to a regular thermometer. It can read even the slightest change in temperature, which makes it ideal for women who want to find out if they will likely get a period on a certain time period or not. Thus, it can be used by couples who are trying to make a baby.
Most women use a basal thermometer or the BBT (basal body temperature) method for the following reasons:
- Determining fertile days. Knowing which days of the month you are most fertile will help you and your partner in conceiving a baby, which is ideal for the newlyweds. It may not be the most accurate method when used alone, if you use it with other methods of family planning, it can really help to get you pregnant soon enough, since you will know what days to have sex with your partner.
- Track down menstruation. For women who seem to have irregular menstruation or for those who are just curious, they can also know their menstrual period or cycle better if they use the BBT method in the morning. Knowing the menstrual cycle could also help you to keep track as to whether you need to shop immediately for tampons or napkins and pack them in your tote bag.
- Look for any hormonal imbalance. In some cases, the BBT method could also reveal if there are any hormonal imbalances since the hormones are at work when your temperature goes up and down during the ovulation period.
- Avoid getting pregnant. While it can be used to get pregnant, some teens and women do want to avoid getting pregnant, so they can use the BBT method as a supporting way (not to be used alone) to find out if they will likely get pregnant on a certain period in the calendar.
2. How accurate are they?
Normal thermometer: the accuracy of a regular thermometer is only about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty average compared to that of the basal thermometer.
Basal thermometer: it has an accuracy of about 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit, which means that it can be a more accurate measurement of your body temperature as compared to a regular thermometer. After all, the ovulation period of a woman can have very small changes in temperature.
3. How are they typically used?
Normal thermometer: you can use a regular thermometer for oral, anal, and armpit methods, simply because they are just meant to track a person’s flu or fever based on their body temperature.
Basal thermometer: it can be used in the same way as the normal thermometer, except that since it is a basal thermometer that is mainly used by women, some women even consider vaginal use for added accuracy.
The basal thermometer does have a few similarities with the regular thermometer, such as the different types of thermometers:
1. Mercury-based: this is the most traditional and basic of all thermometers. They are preferred by traditional practitioners because they have been around for a long time. The mercury inside the thermometer can increase or decrease depending on the temperature of the body. You place the metal part of the thermometer in the specified area (e.g. armpits) to get a temperature reading. Most countries have started phasing out mercury thermometers due to the ill effects of mercury when it gets out of the tube.
2. Digital thermometer: the digital thermometer is quite accurate and fast, up to 60 seconds, so they could be more preferred by modern practitioners. The only downside is that they need batteries as compared to mercury thermometers.
Can you use a normal thermometer for basal?
You can, but it will not be as accurate as you think. This is because the basal thermometer has an accuracy of about 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit, as compared to the normal thermometer, which has only about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit. This can mean a significant difference between the two as with measuring and determining your ovulation period.
How do you check your basal body temperature for ovulation?
BBT or basal body temperature is a quick method for women (or couples) to know the best time for getting pregnant, which is during their ovulation period. Here’s how to find it out using a basal thermometer:
1. Have your basal thermometer beside you before you go to bed for easy access. Get at least 3 hours of sleep before you do take your body temperature the next day.
2. Measure your basal body temperature right away when you wake up in the morning (do not get out of bed or do anything else).
3. Repeat for up to 3 cycles and log them into your notebook or BBT-keeping mobile app.
Here are important notes with tracking BBT:
1. Make sure you measure with one thermometer only and don’t use others to ensure that there’s an accurate and constant temperature reading.
2. If you measure in a certain way (vaginally, orally, or rectally), do not measure in any other way to ensure constant temperature reading that’s more accurate.
What is the best basal temperature to get pregnant?
The typical temperature of the ovulation period is characterized by a sharp rise in the body temperature, which can be from 36 that goes up to 37 degrees but in points. To help you determine that, here are our top picks for the best basal thermometer:
This thermometer has an accuracy of up to 0.01 degrees which is what you’ll need for accurate ovulation tracking. It has a digital display so you can just easily read your temperature without a lot of fuss (as compared to mercury thermometers).
Since it has a soft beep, you won’t have a lot of problems with the noise level, especially if you have other family members who are still asleep while you’re measuring your temperature in the morning. It even has a memory function so you can find out your last temperature for your reference.
As an app-integrated basal thermometer, this one comes in 3 colors to choose from and uses Bluetooth transmission to help you determine your temperature spikes and drops. It can measure for as short as 30 seconds and it has an accuracy of up to 0.01 degrees.
The memory function can store up to 300 recordings of temperatures, which can be helpful for ovulation tracking. It has a lid that enables a power-saving method, which can be convenient for on-the-go women. The phone app can also give you other stats regarding your BBT measurements.
As a basal body thermometer in the digital format, this one has an accuracy of 1/100th of degrees, so it can be accurate like most BBT thermometers out there. It is even waterproof so you don’t have to worry when you accidentally spill water on it, which can mean a good sense of durability.
It has a standard alarm that notifies you when the temperature has been read. The unit even has an automatic shutoff feature, which can save battery life significantly. The LCD screen can be easy to read while the battery cap is simple to locate and replace batteries with.
Coming in a package, this one is a basal thermometer that already comes with ovulation test strips so you can just get the job done in one go. You can combine these two methods of natural family planning which can be ideal for those who want a simple way of getting pregnant.
It only takes about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to get the result of the basal thermometer, which can also be app-integrated for a charted set of results, which can help you track your ovulation period.
Yet another app-based thermometer, this one is the simple version of our previous pick, which has a digital readout yet still connects to your smartphone app. It has been FDA and CE approved and it can be used to measure up to 1/100 degree accurate temperatures. You can also switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit with this unit, which is backed by a 1-year warranty as well.
This thermometer takes only about 30 seconds of reading, which can be quite fast. It has a clear and concise LCD screen for easy reading while the whole unit is waterproof for durability. This BBT thermometer also has a light feminine color and comes with its own alarm and a hard case for traveling purposes.
Also waterproof in its construction, this one is also accurate up to 1/100 degrees, making it quite sensitive and ideal for BBT tracking. It has about 1 minute of tracking speed and has a simple beep to notify you. The beep is not too loud and the backlight is also not too bright so you won’t feel stressed in the morning.
Having a square shape for its LCD monitor, this can be easier to read than most BBT thermometers out there. It can also store the time, date, and the BBT reading in its memory, which can be intact up to 60 days. You can also switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit units and it has a soft blue backlight for easy reading as well.
As a whole, the BBT method is a good way to easily know whether you will likely get pregnant or not. Having a basal thermometer can be a helpful method of planning your baby with your partner and some women could also use it in the opposite way. We hope you liked our top picks!