NFP Question -body temp?


I’m looking for advice from some NFP users. I’m tenatively starting to chart, based on a book I’ve read. I’m also trying to get into classes. There’s one at my church (Billings) and a Creighton neart me too.

My most pressing question is about body temp. I charted my temp today and found it to be 97.6 upon waking. I was disappointed because I needed it to be higher today. Now I’m wondering if my charts are going to be hard to read. So about 5 minutes later I took my temp again and it said 97.9. Don’t worry I know I can’t use that reading. But I thought it was starnge the in the matter of a few minutes It changed so much. Also, for those few minutes I was pretty much in bed lying there. Then I decided to take my temp again throughout the day. Consistently it hovers around 96.5. Why would it go down? I guess my question is could these low temps, be an indication of hypothyroid problems? I read that low BBT’s (below 97.5) could mean that. But I don’t know how that applies to temps throughout the day.

Any insight on temps are appreciated.

Also, I feel disappointed that I’ve read, when used correctly, NFP is 99% effective, but other statistics I’ve read have been less optimistic. If used correctly they say anywhere between 85 -98% effective. But more realistically, about 70-80%, since it’s hard to chart perfectly, (ie. not waking at same time, baby cries, etc.) Anyone have some insight there?

I feel like I need to at least give this a try, but I’m not hopeful. And my husband thinks he should just get a “V”. Help.


Well, if you take a class in Billings or Creighton you don’t have to worry about temp because neither of those methods use temp. I learned Creighton.

As for effectiveness, you need to look closely at what is included in the category of “natural family planning”. I know many websites, including the CDC, consider “using nothing” and “rhythm method” to be NFP and include those effectiveness rates in with the scientific methods. This *drastically *skews the effectiveness rate.

Look only at the effectiveness rate of the method you are using, not a chart that includes these “non” NFP items or even other NFP methods.


jcoldc, I’m not sure what your concern is. Make sure you take your temperature at the exact same time every day - my wife takes hers every morning at 5 AM. Chart that temperature, and nothing else. Using that, there will be a temperature shift if you are ovulating (as well as a change in the fertility level of your mucus).

Also, this doesn’t make much sense to me:

I was disappointed because I needed it to be higher today.

What do you mean? Do you mean you wanted to have a temperature shift and it didn’t happen? :stuck_out_tongue: No temperature “needs” to be anything - they are what they are, and the changes are the how you tell when you’ve ovulated.

Also, 97.5 temperatures (and those around there) are no cause for concern. My wife’s temperatures frequently drop to mid 96.x right before the temperature shift. It indicates a spike in estrogen, and nothing to be alarmed about.

If you have any more concerns, I suggest you sign up for a class in the symptothermal method (or if you have concerns about your basal body temperature, you should try a mucus only method like Billings or Creighton). The effectiveness rates are quite high and it is the only option of family planning that is morally permissible!


Sorry, I think I had a few questions/concerns in there. The reason why I needed my temp to be higher than it was today is because I already had that shift in temp. It went from 97.3 to 97.9 but it didn’t sustain the three days. That was why today (on the third day) I needed it to be higher than it was.

What I find helpful about BBT is that apparently it can also tell you things like if you have a thyroid problem, are anovulatory or have low progesterone levels. TTemps below 97.5 could indicate a hypothyroid problem. Anyway, I was trying to see if anyone who was using NFP had some knowledge on whether tenps taken later in the day (that are below 97.5) could indicate a problem.

I guess I’m anxious to be as healthy as I can be, in order to get some predictable easy to read charts. If that’s possible.:shrug: I know this charting business can take a little while.


A lot of things can make your temps. change. If you didn’t get enough sleep, your temps. can be low. Yes low temps can be one of many symptoms of many different problems. One day of low temps. out of a month isn’t going to tell you anything. I had to chart my temps and pulses four time a day for one whole cycle, go over all my symptoms, and go through blood work on about seven different days of my cycle before they came to a conclusion of what was wrong. Your jumping to conclusions far to early. Chart your temps for at least one cycle and I would also recommend learning one of the other NFP methods if you have concerns about your fertility.


Check the rules for overall and strong temperature shifts, as simply because something doesn’t count as full temperature shift doesn’t mean you didn’t ovulate. And if it doesn’t count as any of the temperature shifts, then you didn’t ovulate yet.


Creighton method symptoms show way more than just thyroid issues. They have about 4 pages of symptoms that could be showing other problems.

Use creighton if you are looking for the medical help.


I have hypothyroid issues and when I don’t take my pills regularly like I should, my temps drop waayyy down. We’re talking like low to mid 96.X which is a whole degree+ lower than what they are when I take my pills like I should. Until you get your individual pattern established, you won’t know if that really is normal for you. Some women have higher BBT averages than others. Due to sleep disturbances or illness or room temp changes or sleeping with your mouth open or a whole list of other things, that average temp can vary from cycle to cycle too. If you’ve got the CM observations down (and cervix if that helps you), cross checking can determine if you really have ovulated or if you just had a random temp spike for some reason not related to ovulation.


Is there a listing of that online somewhere? I’m curious about what Creighton can do that sympto-thermal cannot considering my very limited understanding is that Creighton is just sympto-thermal minus the temps. Pardon the ignorance please :blush:


Nope…it comes in the book that is given in the classes.

My charts are what my NFP-only doc looks at to determine probs. THis is the “napro-technology” that it is connected to also. It’s very medically based and standardized.


In my experience, I began using the methods that best helped the doctor tell me what was wrong. Dr. Hilgers has me take temps and use Napro. I have thyroid problems.


Well, first off… it can take several months of charting before establishing your body’s pattern.
I find the sympto-thermal method very satisfying to use because of the amount of data you have about your cycle. One thing to note, though… taking your temperature is not the most important part of this method. In my experience, the “sympto” part is the most crucial… the “thermal” part is only a secondary indicator that ovulation has already occurred… which is a wonderful reassurance, but again, not the primary means for tracking your cycle.

As for your temperature… you need to take it at exactly the same time every single morning.
Another thing to consider is how you’re taking your temperature… orally or vaginally. Orally sometimes poses a problem for women who may occasionally sleep with their mouths open (can cause “cold spots” in your mouth and can affect temp readings). I personally prefer the consistency of vaginal temping.
Having low temperatures isn’t a problem… the value in tracking your temperature is to see a relative temperature rise after ovulation has occurred. If that rise is from 96.5 to 97.4, then that’s relatively the same as going form 97.2 to 98.1… see what I mean?

One question… why did you mention in your post that “you were disappointed because you needed it to be higher today”? :confused:
Did you EXPECT a temperature rise due to the symptomatic signs of ovulation (cervical mucous and cervical position… remember these should be your PRIMARY method of tracking)?
Sometimes it can take a few days for the progesterone to be released after ovulation that will cause your temperature to rise… so don’t get discouraged… you really need to chart for several months to get your own personal patterns more well established.

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions… or ask more on this thread!

BTW… I LOVE the sympto-thermal method!.. We’ve used it successfully to postpone and achieve pregnancy throughout our 7+ years of marriage and it’s been a wonderful experience for us!

Good luck and God bless! :slight_smile:


Low temps can be very important when it comes to tyroid problems.


True… I didn’t mean to confuse with my post above…
My intention was to point out that it doesn’t matter when trying to see a relative temperature rise for detecting ovulation using the sypmto-thermal method.

You’re right… having a relatively low basal body temperature can be an indicator of thyroid issues (which in turn often have an effect on your cycle)…

Does that make sense? I’m not good with the putting the words together good. :stuck_out_tongue: :smiley: :rolleyes:


Thanks Em_in_FL. NFP isn’t confusing, but diagnosing problems is best left to the doctor. It is best if you get someone to teach you the method you would like to use. Then if there is a problem they can see it through the charting.


Exactly! :thumbsup: :slight_smile:

closed #17

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