October 03, 2022 | By Dr. Patti Haebe, NMD
Oral BBT thermometers, wearable thermometers, there are so many options! So, what is the best way to track your basal body temperature (BBT)? For starters, let’s discuss what basal body temperature is and why it’s an important tool for trying to get pregnant.
What is BBT tracking?
BBT is the temperature of your body while completely at rest and relies on a very precise reading. That’s the main differentiator between a BBT thermometer and a standard healthcare screening thermometer. BBT thermometers are more specialized as their readings extend an extra decimal place. Because of this, they are able to pick up on the slightest increases in temperature to observe minor shifts that can identify successful ovulation in your cycle.
Your BBT increases 0.5-1 degree Fahrenheit after ovulation, due to the hormone Progesterone, that raises body temperature and is only produced from the corpus luteum after successful ovulation. By tracking BBT we are able to observe this rise in temperature that helps to retrospectively identify the ovulation date and confirm successful ovulation in that cycle.
Wearable BBT Thermometers vs. Traditional BBT Thermometers
When trying to decide which type of BBT thermometer is right for you, you’ll need to consider what features are most important. Whether it is accuracy, ease of use, sleep schedule or cost – there are many factors that may weigh into your decision for temperature tracking.
Here are the key pros and cons between a wearable BBT, such as the Apple Watch wristband, and a traditional oral BBT thermometer.
What about my Apple Watch Series 8 and cycle tracking?
Similar to the wrist thermometer pro’s and con’s, the newest apple watch takes snapshots of your body temperature throughout the night through a wrist based sensor every 5 seconds. Apple Watch is only 0.1 ℃ accuracy while Premom’s BBT is clinically accurate to (± 0.05 ℃ / ± 0.09 ℉ ). When it comes to BBT, higher accuracy can help women find their temperature changes easier.
Some studies refute the use of wrist temperatures with concerns of inaccuracy due to it’s location being affected by positioning, exposure to different environmental temperature, and movement while other studies demonstrate a superiority in wrist tracking due to larger detectible temperature shifts at the wrist . If you don’t mind wearing the apple watch overnight or don’t need to charge it at night, it’s a viable option for BBT similar to other wrist mounted BBT thermometers.
So what method is best for tracking?
Fertility awareness methods educators and fertility experts agree that a standard oral BBT thermometer tends to be the best researched method for BBT. However, the most important thing you can do for tracking your fertility is find a method that you will use consistently.
All devices have their benefits and drawbacks, find the device that works best for you and stick with it. You can log BBT readings from any device directly into the Premom app. If you find the method you’ve selected isn’t quite working, ask our experts over in “Ask An Expert” and get a response in one business day, they can help you troubleshoot your BBT results.
Dr. Patti Haebe is a results-obsessed naturopathic doctor. She specializes in pre-conception preparation, fertility and hormone optimization. She is committed to root-cause healing through therapeutic supplementation as well as targeted diet and lifestyle modifications. Her virtual practice, Ocotillo Integrative Medicine, provides integrative consultations worldwide via webcam for those looking to incorporate natural, proactive approaches to their healthcare and fertility journey. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Haebe right through your Premom app!